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3. <L Saul Collection 

IRineteeutb Centurp 
English literature 

purcbasefc in part 
tbrougb a contribution to tbe 
Xibrar^ jfunbs mafce bp tbe 
department ot lEnglieb in 


After the picture by George Romney, R.A., 
in the possession of Sir John Shelley, Bart. 


























IN 1812 633 


RIET, 1814 639 

1814 641 











1816 652 





TEXT 675 



INDEX 692 





JOHN SHELLEY (Shelley's brother) . . . . 588 







XIV XIV 675 

XVI XVI 676 

XVII XV 677 

XIX not identified 678 

XX 679 












XLI . 








[VI] not identified 

XL . 











Shelley in England 

Volume II 

Shelley in England 


Bysshe's return to York Hogg's treachery The arrival of 
Eliza Westbrook Bysshe moves to Keswick Correspondence with 
Hogg Miss Hitchener the consoler Robert Southey Bysshe and 
his landlord The Duke of Norfolk A visit to Greystoke Corre- 
spondence with Mr. Shelley Mr. Westbrook's allowance Hellen 
Shelley William Godwin The Irish expedition The Shelleys 
at Nantgwillt Scandal at Cuckfield Bysshe and his grandfather 
Letter to Lord Ellenborough Lynmouth Miss Hitchener 
Tanyrallt Shelley arrested. 

BYSSHE returned to York by October 26 ; for on 
that date he wrote to Mr. Shelley, who had told 
him to discuss any questions respecting his allowance 
with Whitton. The lawyer's cautious method of 
doing business and his letters of remonstrance had 
so greatly irritated Bysshe that he was prompted to 
protest to his father at the manner in which he was 
being treated. Bysshe had been requested by Whitton 
to address to his care any letters that he might write 
to Mr. Shelley, and not to send them direct. But he 
ignored this request, and wrote to Field Place ; while 
Hogg addressed and sealed the letter with his coat 
of arms displaying three boars' heads couped, with 
an oak tree on a wreath as a crest. 


Married Life 

Mr. Shelley was not deceived by the direction, 
and sent the letter to Whitton on October 29. 
" The enclosed is from York," he said " Hogg's 
direction and seal." He then, as usual, commented 
on Bysshe's behaviour, especially in not availing him- 
self of Whitton's " good intentions," and remarked 
that " when he can submit to filial duty, and obedience 
to his Parents, and gentlemanly conduct and behaviour 
towards you, who so kindly undertake this Unique 
[? business] on my account, He will then experience 
Parental fondness on our parts, and a suitable return 
on yours." Mr. Shelley was relieved that Bysshe 
had left London, and he had no wish to see him, for 
he said, " York for ever ! I hope he will remain 
there untill a thorough amendment takes place." 
He concluded with the following unexpected reference 
to Sir Bysshe's geniality : " My father was extremely 
pleasant at the signing the Codicils. Mr. Stedman 
[a Horsham solicitor] told him any pen would do. 
' Oh ! ho ! ' and with great gravity produced Mrs. 
Clarke's leg that is sold in Ivory as a Toy at 

P. B. Shelley to Timothy Shelley 

[Postmark, YORK, 
Oct. 26, 1811.] 

SIR, When I last saw you I was referred by you 
to Mr. Whitton for the payment of the quarterly 

Shelley in England 

allowance on which I was desired by you to rely. Mr. 
W.'s answer to my note was in the most vague stile 
of complaint concerning the letters which I had 
written to you. . . I do not see how personal feel- 
ings, even if unjustly wounded, can be an excuse to 
a man's own conscience for the violation of an un- 
equivocal promise. . . But have they been unjustly 
wounded? Are the remarks to which I conjecture 
Mr. W.'s letters to allude true or false. . . Did you, 
or did you not falsely speak of my friend to Mr. J. 
Hogg, and as falsely assert that Stockdale the book- 
seller was the author of these misrepresentations ? 

Did Graham, the music-master, or did he not ward 
off a threatned action for libel ? Have you or have 
you not written to Mr. Hogg of Stockton letters 
calculated, and intended to lower my character in 
their opinion, opposing as in contrast your own ex- 
cellencies ? I am compelled to recur to these things 
in consequence of your Attorney's letter, and your 
unjust anger. I am, yours, &c., 


[Addressed] : 

Field Place, 

M.P. Sussex. 

Mr. Whitton, however, on reading this letter re- 
garded it as an " improper writing for Mr. Shelley's 
perusal " ; he told Bysshe so in a note, and for that 
reason he did not intend to forward it. The lawyer 
remonstrated with Bysshe for his " sentiments of 
anger " in his endeavour to serve him, and said that 


Married Life 

" the boyish warmth of Mr. P. B. Shelley is inexcus- 
able, and W. will consider that the flippancy and 
impertinent observations made by Mr. P. B. Shelley 
are attributable to an irritable and uninformed mind." 
Mr. Whitton, like many others, experienced a diffi- 
culty in maintaining his dignity in a third person 
letter ; he wrote in anger, and he probably meant to 
describe Bysshe's mind as " unformed." 

On Bysshe's arrival at York he found that Harriet 
was not alone, but that her sister, Eliza Westbrook, 
was keeping her company. The reasons given for her 
appearance were such as to cause him great distress, 
for they were none other than the result of treachery 
on the part of his friend Hogg. It appears that when 
he was at Edinburgh, attracted by Harriet's girlish 
charms, Hogg had fallen deeply in love with her. He 
did not, however, declare his passion until they went 
to York, when Harriet forbade him to mention the 
subject again, and hoping she might hear no more 
of it, she forbore to tell her husband. Then Bysshe 
went to Sussex and left Harriet in the care of his 
friend, who not only again avowed his love but pes- 
tered her " with arguments of detestable sophistry." 
Poor Harriet withstood these entreaties, and, when 
Hogg, now contrite, wanted to write to Bysshe and 
tell him the whole story, she refused to allow him, as 
she feared the consequences of the revelation on her 

353 z 

Shelley in England 

husband's mind at such a distance. Harriet, however, 
took immediate steps to protect herself from any 
further annoyance from Hogg, and sent for her sister 
Eliza, who probably arrived at York shortly before 

In his letters to Miss Kitchener Bysshe relates these 
incidents, and describes his interview with Hogg 
after learning the truth from Harriet. Bysshe said 
that he sought Hogg, and they walked to the fields 
beyond York. He desired to know fully the account 
of this affair. " I heard it from him," he said, " and 
I believe he was sincere." ..." Our conversation 
was long. He was silent, pale, overwhelmed ; the 
suddenness of the disclosure, and, oh ! I hope its 
heinousness, had affected him. I told him that I 
pardoned him freely, fully, completely pardoned, that 
not the least anger against him possessed me. His 
vices and not himself were the objects of my horror 
and my hatred. I told him I yet ardently panted for 
his real welfare ; but that ill-success in crime and 
misery appeared to me an earnest of its opposite 
in benevolence." 

Hogg pleaded for forgiveness, and Bysshe, with 
singular generosity, pardoned him. He also begged 
for Harriet's forgiveness, and declared that if he did 
not obtain it he would blow his brains out at her feet. 
Bysshe really believed in the sincerity of the penitent, 


Married Life 

but he realised that he and Harriet could not possibly 
continue to live in the same house with him. Bysshe 
therefore decided to leave York immediately ; he 
was very miserable, and so long as he got away from 
that town he was indifferent where he went. Harriet 
and her sister knew and liked Keswick, which perhaps 
had some attraction for Bysshe, as Southey was living 
hard by at Greta Hall. So to Keswick they decided to 
go Bysshe, Harriet, and Eliza ; they made their 
preparations swiftly, and, although Hogg was aware 
they were leaving, they departed without taking fare- 
well of him. Wending their way across Yorkshire, 
they halted at Richmond, and then continued on their 
course to Keswick, where they arrived in the first 
week of November. 

Bysshe wrote many letters from Keswick to Hogg, 
who printed some of them in his Life of Shelley, but 
apparently in a much altered form, so as to disguise 
any references to the painful episode with which they 
were principally concerned. In reading between the 
lines of these letters, with the assistance of Bysshe's 
correspondence with Miss Kitchener, one gathers that 
Hogg began by expressing full contrition for his 
conduct. Bysshe, who at first believed that he was 
really penitent, told Hogg how deep his affection 
had been for him, and how he had once fondly hoped 
they would never be separated. As time went on, 


Shelley in England 

the tone of Hogg's letters deteriorated, and he now 
expressed a desire that he might live again with 
Harriet and Bysshe, who firmly put this suggestion 
aside, having detected in his sophistry " deep cunning." 

When this device failed, Hogg taunted Bysshe with 
his " consistency in despising religion, despising duel- 
ling, and despising real friendship," with some hints 
as to duelling to induce him to fight it out in this 
manner. Bysshe replied that he would not fight a 
duel with him, that he had no right to expose his 
own life or take Hogg's. He confessed he wished, 
from various motives, to prolong his existence, nor 
did he think that Hogg's life was a fair exchange for 
his, as he had always acted up to his principles, which 
was not the case with Hogg. 

Miss Kitchener proved to Bysshe a consolation, 
and his correspondence with her supplied him with 
an outlet for his pent-up feelings. ' Your letters," 
he said, " are like angels sent from heaven on missions 
of peace." He spoke of her as the sister of his soul 
(as Hogg had once been his spiritual brother), and 
begged her to visit them. When Miss Kitchener 
demurred, he wrote, " Harriet has laughed at your 
suppositions. She invites you to our habitation 
wherever we are ; she does this sincerely, and bids 
me to send her love to you. Eliza, her sister, is with 
us. She is, I think, a woman rather superior to the 


Married Life 

generality. She is prejudiced ; but her prejudices I 
do not consider unvanquishable. Indeed, I have 
already conquered some of them." 

Hogg had conceived a dislike for Eliza Westbrook, 
which was natural, considering the reason for her 
appearance at York, and she probably reciprocated 
the dislike. He did what he could to tarnish the 
glory with which Harriet invested her sister. We 
are told by this amusing chronicler that Eliza was 
old enough l to be the mother of Harriet, who some- 
times addressed her as " Mamma," and that she " was 
as dignified as satin or silk could make her." Harriet 
had described her as exquisitely beautiful, and perhaps 
thought her so, for Eliza had cared for and tended 
her from childhood. Hogg was therefore bitterly 
disappointed to find that Eliza's face was much 
marked with the scars of smallpox and deadly white, not 
unlike " a mass of boiled rice, boiled in dirty water ; the 
eyes dark but dull, and without meaning ; the hair 
black and glossy, but coarse, and there was an ad- 
mired crop, much like the tail of a horse a switch tail. 
The fine figure was meagre, prim, and constrained." 

Eliza was fond of managing, and soon fell into the 

1 The register of baptisms of St. George's, Hanover Square, reveals 
that Eliza Westbrook was born on June 4, 1782, consequently she was 
thirteen years older than Harriet, who was born on August I, 1795. The 
West brooks had two other children; Robert, born September 5, 1784) 
and Mary Ann, born April 31, 1781. 


Shelley in England 

habit of looking after Harriet and her husband. 
She also looked after their resources, and kept the 
money in the corner of an old stocking. Harriet was 
happy, and Bysshe was tolerant of his sister-in-law, 
with her prim ways and everlasting admonitions, whose 
favourite remark, when Harriet did anything out of 
the ordinary, was, " Gracious Heaven ! What would 
Miss Warne say?" Even the omniscient Hogg has 
failed to enlighten us about Eliza's friend, whose 
opinions she speculated upon with so much curiosity. 

During their first days at the lakes they found 
lodgings at Townhead, Keswick, but by November 12 
they had moved outside the town to Chestnut Cottage. 
Shelley described the scenery as " awfully beautiful. 
Our window commands a view of two lakes, and the 
giant mountains which confine them. But the object 
most interesting to my feelings is Sou they 's habita- 
tion. He is now on a journey ; when he returns, 1 
shall call on him." l Bysshe looked forward to meet- 
ing the author of Kehama with his accustomed en- 
thusiasm, and he tells Miss Kitchener in another 
letter that he had been contemplating the outside of 
Greta Hall. When, however, in the course of time 
he found himself face to face with Southey he was 
obliged to admit disappointment. The older man 
was middle-aged, with settled opinions, and given to 

1 Shelley to Miss Hitchener, November 14, 1811. 


Married Life 

offering counsel. " I am not sure," he wrote to Miss 
Kitchener, 1 " that Sou they is quite uninfluenced by 
venality. He is disinterested, so far as respects his 
family ; but I question if he is so, as far as respects 
the world. His writings solely support a numerous 
family. His sweet children are such amiable creatures 
that I almost forgive what I suspect." Bysshe found 
Mrs. Sou they very stupid, but he enjoyed her home- 
made tea-cakes. He also met other members of 
Sou they 's hospitable household : his two sisters-in law, 
Mrs. Coleridge, whom he thought even worse than 
Mrs. Southey, and Mrs. Lovell, formerly an actress 
(whom he liked), the widow of Robert Lovell, the 
young poet-friend of Coleridge and Southey in their 
early Bristol days. Bysshe encountered no other local 
literary celebrities, neither De Quincey nor bluff " Chris- 
topher North," and his desire to meet the other lake 
poets, Coleridge and Wordsworth, was not fulfilled. 

The young couple in engaging the furnished rooms 
at Chestnut Cottage had not thought of including the 
garden in their arrangements. When a member of 
the Southey household asked Harriet if it was let with 
their apartments, she replied, "Oh, no, the garden is 
not ours ; but then, you know, the people let us run 
about in it, whenever Percy and I are tired of sitting 
in the house." 

1 On January 2, 1812. 


Shelley in England 

Bysshe and Harriet were, as this story suggests, in 
some respects still rather like a couple of overgrown 
children. He complained rather indignantly of his 
treatment by Mr. Dare, the landlord of Chestnut 
Cottage, and remarked, " Strange prejudices have 
these country people." Mr. Dare told Bysshe that 
he was not satisfied with him, because the country 
were gossiping very strangely of his proceedings. 
The explanation was that Bysshe had been talking 
one evening to Harriet and Eliza about the nature of 
the atmosphere, and the young chemist made some 
experiments with hydrogen gas, the flame of which 
was vivid enough to be observed at some distance. 
Mr. Dare was unconvinced, and said, " I am very ill 
satisfied with this. Sir, I don't like to talk of it. I 
wish you to provide yourself elsewhere." Bysshe 
added that he had with much difficulty quieted his 
landlord's fears. " He does not, however, much like 
us, and I am by no means certain that he will permit 
us to remain." 

Remembering the Duke of Norfolk's friendly inter- 
position in the spring, when he tried to get Bysshe 
to take up politics, he wrote before he left York to 
the Duke to ask him to intercede on his behalf with 
Mr. Shelley in regard to his marriage and his allow- 
ance. He also put in a word on behalf of Medwin, 
from whom he had borrowed a sum of money to 


Married Life 

enable him to carry off Harriet to Edinburgh. He 
had heard that the Horsham lawyer had had a 
rencontre with Mr. Shelley, who disbelieved that he 
was ignorant of the purpose for which Bysshe had 
borrowed the money. The Duke good-naturedly wrote 
to Mr. Shelley some days later, as he noted in his diary, 
that he would go to Field Place " to confer with him 
on the unhappy difference with his son, from whom I 
have a letter before me." He also wrote to Bysshe 
to say that he would " be glad to interfere but with 
little hope of success, fearing that his father, and 
not he alone, will see his late conduct in a different 
point of view from what he sees it." The Duke 
fulfilled his promise and dined with Mr. Shelley at 
Horsham on November 10, having previously written 
a letter, " cordially worded," inviting Bysshe, Harriet, 
and Eliza Westbrook to visit him at Greystoke, his 
place in Cumberland, where they went on December i 
for a few days. It was a kindly act of the Duke to 
receive Bysshe and his wife, especially as it served to 
break the ice with Mr. Shelley, if it did not lead to 
a reconciliation with him. 

The Duke showed much friendliness to his guests, 
was " quite charmed " with Eliza Westbrook, and 
invited several people to meet them, including William 
Calvert of Greta Bank, the son of one of his former 
stewards, and brother of Raisley Calvert, Words- 

Shelley in England 

worth's generous benefactor. Shelley, who took to 
Calvert, wrote of him as "an elderly man who 
seemed to know all my concerns ; and the expres- 
sion of his face, whenever I held the arguments, 
which I do everywhere, was such as I shall not readily 
forget. I shall have more to tell of him, for we have 
met him before in these mountains, and his particular 
look then struck Harriet." Before he left the Lake 
District, Bysshe received much kindness from Mr. 
Calvert, with whom he was soon on terms of friendly 

Bysshe's finances were now in a bad state, and he 
was forced to think of ways and means. Mr. West- 
brook had sent a small sum of money to his daughter, 
but with an intimation that no more was to be ex- 
pected from him, and it was almost with Bysshe's last 
guinea that they were able to visit the Duke. So 
Bysshe wrote to Mr. Medwin for advice with regard 
to raising some money on his expectations, and asked 
for the loan of a small sum to meet his immediate 
expenses. He said, " We are now so poor as to be 
actually in danger of being deprived of the necessities 
of life." Medwin's reply to these inquiries was very 
likely unsatisfactory ; the result of the visit to Grey- 
stoke was more promising. The Duke wrote to Mr. 
Shelley himself, and advised Bysshe also to write to 
his father and ask for pardon. The two following 


Married Life 

letters to Timothy Shelley were printed by Professor 
Dowden in his Life of Shelley,' 1 but as they form a link 
in Bysshe's correspondence with his father at this 
time, no excuse is made for reprinting them. 

P. B. Shelley to Timothy Shelley 

Dec. 13, 1811. 

MY DEAR SIR, I have lately returned from Grey- 
stoke, where I had been invited by the Duke of Norfolk 
that he might speak with me of the unhappy differ- 
ences which some of my actions have occasioned. 
The result of his advice was that I should write a 
letter to you, the tone of whose expression should be 
sorrow that I should have wounded the feelings of 
persons so nearly connected with me. Undoubtedly 
I should thus express the real sense of my mind, for 
when convinced of my error no one is more ready to 
own that conviction than myself, nor to repair any 
injuries which might have resulted from a line of 
conduct which I had pursued. 

On my expulsion from Oxford you were so good 
as to allow me 200 per annum ; you also added 
a promise of my being unrestrained in the exercise of 
the completest free agency. 

In consequence of this last I married a young lady 
whose personal character is unimpeachable. This 
action (admitting it to be done) in its very nature 
required dissimulation, much as I may regret that 

1 These letters were reprinted, with a hitherto unpublished passage 
restored to that of December 23, 1812, in the collected edition of Shelley's 
Letters, 1909. 


Shelley in England 

I had condescended to employ it. My allowance was 
then withdrawn ; I was left without money four 
hundred miles from one being I knew, every day 
liable to be exposed to the severest exile of penury. 
Surely something is to be allowed for human feelings, 
when you reflect that the letters you then received 
were written in this state of helplessness and derelic- 
tion. And now let me say that a reconciliation with 
you is a thing which I very much desire. Accept my 
apologies for the uneasiness which I have occasioned ; 
believe that my wish to repair any uneasiness is firm 
and sincere. 

I regard these family differences as a very great evil, 
and I much lament that I should in any wise have 
been instrumental in exciting them. 

I hope you will not consider what I am about to 
say an insulting want of respect or contempt, but I 
think it my duty to say that, however great advantages 
might result from such concessions, I can make no 
promise of concealing my opinions in political or 
religious matters I should consider myself culpable 
to excite any expectation in your mind which I 
should be unable to fulfil. What I have said is actu- 
ated by the sincerest wish of being again upon those 
terms with you which existed some time since. I 
have not employed hypocrisy to heighten the regret 
which I feel for having occasioned uneasiness. I 
have not employed meanness to concede what I 
consider it my duty to withhold. Such methods as 
these would be unworthy of us both. I hope you 
will consider what I have said, and I remain, dear 
Father, with sincerest wishes for our perfect right 
understanding, yours respectfully and affectionately, 


Married Life 

Timothy Shelley to P. B. Shelley 


Dec. ig, 1811. 

DEAR BYSSHE, I am glad the visit to Greystoke 
Castle and the Society of that Nobleman, from whom 
I have experienced the kindest Friendship, has had 
the effect on your mind, to be con vine 'd of the errors 
you have fallen into towards your Parents. 

You withdrew yourself from my Protection, after 
having promis'd to enter into some Professional line 
which you then deem'd the choice of free agency 
upon an allowance of 200 pr. ann. 

I hope and trust everything will in due time and 
proper Probation be brought to an excellent work. 

I never can admit within my Family of the Prin- 
ciples that caus'd your expulsion from Oxford. I 
remain, &c., T. S. 

P. B. Shelley to Timothy Shelley 

Dec. 23, 1811. 

MY DEAR SIR, Your letter which arrived last night 
gave me much pleasure. I hasten to acknowledge it, 
and to express my satisfaction that you should no 
longer regard me in an unfavourable light. 

Mr. Westbrook at present allows for his daughter's 
subsistence 200 per annum, which prevents any 
situations occurring with similar unpleasantness as 
that at Edinburgh. 

My principles still remain the same as those which 
caused my expulsion from Oxford. When questions 
which regard the subject are agitated in society, I 


Shelley in England 

explain my opinions with coolness and moderation. 
You will not, I hope, object to my train of thinking. 
I could disguise it, but this would be falsehood and 

Believe that what I have said is dictated by the 
sincerest sentiments of respect. 

I hope I shall sometimes have the pleasure of hear- 
ing from you, and that my mother and sisters are 
well. Mr. Whitton opened a letter addressed to the 
former. I know not what may be the precise state 
of that affair which is there alluded to, but I cannot 
consider myself blameable for having interfered. 

I beg my love to my mother and sisters, and remain, 
with sentiments of respect, your affectionate son, 


One may be sure that Mr. Westbrook's allowance of 
200 a year was a godsend to the tenants of Chestnut 
Cottage, especially as it paved the way to a similar 
allowance from Mr. Shelley. But, notwithstanding 
Bysshe's straitened means, he was firm in his con- 
victions as to the iniquity of entails. He had heard 
from Captain Pilfold, so he wrote to Miss Kitchener 
on December 15, of a " meditated proposal," on the 
part of his father and grandfather, to make his income 
immediately larger than Mr. Shelley's, on condition 
that he consented to entail the estate on his eldest son, 
and in default of male issue on his brother. 1 " Silly 

1 No evidence to support this statement has been discovered in the 
Shelley- Whitton papers. 


Married Life 

dotards ! " he exclaimed ; " do they think I can be thus 
bribed and ground into an act of such contemptible 
injustice and inutility, that I will forswear my prin- 
ciples in consideration of 2000 a year, that the good- 
will I could thus purchase, or the ill-will I could thus 
overbear, would recompense me for the loss of self- 
esteem, of conscious rectitude ? And with what face 
can they make to me a proposal so insultingly hateful. 
Dare one of them propose such a condition to my 
face to the face of any virtuous man and not sink 
into nothing at his disdain ? That I should entail 
120,000 of command over labour, of power to remit 
this, to employ it for beneficent purposes, on one 
whom I know not who might, instead of being the 
benefactor of mankind, be its bane, or use this for 
the worst purposes, which the real delegate of my 
chance-given property might convert into a most 
useful instrument of benevolence ! No ! this you will 
not suspect me of. What I have told you will serve to 
put in its genuine light the grandeur of aristocratical 
distinctions, and to show that contemptible vanity 
will gratify its unnatural passion at the expense of 
every just, humane, and philanthropic consideration : 

" Tho' to a radiant angel linked, 
Will sate itself in a celestial bed, 
And prey on garbage." 

Bysshe's expressed desire for a reconciliation with 


Shelley in England 

his father was no doubt prompted to a great extent 
by his longing to see his sisters. It must have been 
a great blow to him when he was given to understand 
by his father's last letter that, so long as he enter- 
tained opinions such as had caused his expulsion from 
Oxford, he could not expect to be received under the 
paternal roof. Any hope, therefore, of seeing his 
sisters had vanished, for a time at least. What 
Bysshe wanted to know was whether they still cared 
for him, or whether they had all been influenced to 
consider him as bad as he appeared in his father's 
eyes. He had no hopes of Elizabeth, who had ceased 
to be one of the faithful, and he had realised now 
for some time that she had gone over to the enemy's 
side. But his little sister Hellen was otherwise ; 
she who had befriended her schoolfellow, Harriet 
Westbrook, when none of the other girls at the 
school would speak to her, she, he thought, might 
be counted on to send some proof of affection for 
her outcast brother. Bysshe therefore wrote to 
Hellen, and, bearing in mind his father's vigilance 
in intercepting letters, he enclosed it in a note 
to his grandfather's huntsman, Allen Etheridge, 
who lived at Horsham ; consequently his corre- 
spondence would not, as he thought, be liable to 
his father's inspection. 


Married Life 

P. B. Shelley to Allen Etheridge 


[Postmark : KESWICK, 

Dec. 16, 1811]. 

DEAR ALLEN, As I think my Sisters are now at 
Field Place, I have enclosed you this letter. Put it 
into the Summer House at Field Place when no one 
sees you ; and when you have put it there, contrive 
to let Hellen know that there is a letter for her there : 
contrive to let Hellen know, without letting anyone 
else know. This you had better manage by letting 
one of your little boys watch when she is alone, and 
tell her. But use your own discretion if you do not 
think this the best way. Remember, Allen, that I 
shall not forget you. How is your family going on ? 
I hope they enjoy better health. Yours, &c. 


In the fold of the letter is written : 

Do not let yourself be seen in it. 

[Addressed in a disguised handwriting] : 

Huntsman to Sir B. Shelly, [sic] 

P. B. Shelley to Hellen Shelley 

[Dec. 1 6, 1811.] 

MY DEAR HELLEN, "Shew this letter to no one." 
You remember that you once told me that you loved 
me. . . If you really love me, shew this letter to no 

369 2 A 

Shelley in England 

one, but answer it as you can. Remember this is the 
only proof I can now have that you do love me. 

We are now at a great distance from each other, 
or at least we shall be : but that is no reason that I 
should forget that I am your brother, or you should 
forget that you are my sister. Everybody near you 
says that I have behaved very ill, and that I can love 
no one. 

But how do you know that everything that is told 
you is true ? A great many people tell a great many 
lies, and believe them, but that is no reason that you 
are to believe them. Because everybody else hates 
me, that is no reason that you should. Think for 
yourself, my dear girl, and write to me to tell me 
what you think. Where you are now, you cannot do 
as you please you are obliged to submit to other 
people. They will not let you walk and read and 
think (if they knew your thoughts) just as you like, 
though you have as good a right to do it as they. 
But if you were with me, you would be with someone 
who loved you ; you might run and skip, read, write, 
think just as you liked. Then, though you cannot 
now be with me, you can write, you can tell me 
what you think, and how you get on, on paper. Per- 
haps you cannot get a pen and ink, but you can get 
pencil, and this will do ; and as nobody can suspect 
you, you may easily write, and put your letter into the 
Summer House, where I shall be sure to get it. I 
watch over you, though you do not think I am near. 

I need not tell you how I love you. I know all 
that is said of me, but do not you believe it. You 
will perhaps think I'm the Devil, but, no, I am only 
your brother, who is obliged to be put to these shifts 
to get a letter from you. 


Married Life 

How do you get on with your poetry, and what 
books do you read, for you know how anxious I am 
that you should improve in every way, though I 
don't think music or dancing of much consequence ? 
Thinking, and thinking without letting anything but 
reason influence your mind, is the great thing. Some 
people would tell you that it would be wrong to write 
to me ; but how do you know it is ? They do not 
tell you why it is wrong. They would scold you for 
it, but this would not make it wrong. Let no one 
find out that I have written to you. Read this letter 
when no one sees you, and with attention. I have not 
written to Mary, because I know that she is not firm 
and determined like you ; but if you think that she 
would not tell, give my love to her, and tell her to write 
to me. 

I shall not say any more now. Write, and leave 
your letter in the Summer House. I shall be sure to 
get it if you go there alone and leave it. Your very 
affectionate and true brother, 


[Endorsed in disguised handwriting] : 
(Open this when alone), 


[Further endorsement in Sir Timothy's handwriting :] 
In Dec., 1811, enclosed. 

This pathetic appeal shared the fate of Bysshe's 
other letters to his family. Etheridge apparently 
took both of these epistles, dutiful servant that he 
was, to Mr. Shelley, who promptly sent them to his 
faithful Whitton. 

Shelley in England 

Bysshe in the meantime remained at Keswick, 
but by the middle of December he was contemplat- 
ing a visit from Miss Kitchener (which did not take 
place), and after it he was thinking of going to Ireland. 

The year 1811, a fateful one in Bysshe's life, came 
to a close without any other noteworthy events. 
But in the early days of 1812, on January 3, he 
addressed his first letter to William Godwin, and, 
compared with this, no act in Shelley's career was 
more portentous. Shelley was not twenty, Godwin 
was nearly fifty-six, when this correspondence began. 
The younger man wrote without any introduction, 
having but recently learned that Godwin was still 
living. He approached him much as a neophyte 
might approach his favourite saint, whom he had 
found to be living after having venerated him as one 
of the dead. ' The name of Godwin," he said, "has 
been used to excite in me feelings of reverence and 
admiration. I have been accustomed to consider 
him a luminary too dazzling for the darkness which 
surrounds him. From the earliest period of my 
knowledge of his principles, I have ardently desired 
to share, on the footing of intimacy, that intellect 
which I have delighted to contemplate in its emana- 
tions. Considering, then, these feelings, you will 
not be surprised at the inconceivable emotions with 


Married Life 

which I learned your existence and your dwelling. I 
had enrolled your name in the list of the honourable 
dead. I had felt regret that the glory of your being 
had passed from this earth of ours. It is not so ; 
you still live, and, I firmly believe, are still planning 
the welfare of human kind." Bysshe went on to tell 
Godwin that his " course had been short, but event- 
ful " which was certainly true that he was young 
and ardent in the cause of philanthropy and truth. 
In short, he begged the philosopher to answer his 
letter and to think him not unworthy of his friend- 
ship, or, in other words, to allow him to sit at his feet. 

Godwin's reply was not discouraging, but he com- 
plained of the generalising character of Shelley's 
letter. So Shelley wrote again at length on January 
10, and gave some particulars of his life, his attempts 
at authorship, his opinions, and his expulsion from 
Oxford. Some references to his father are interesting, 
as showing how he viewed him at this time. " I am 
the son of a man of fortune in Sussex. The habits 
and thinking of my father and myself never coincided. 
Passive obedience was inculcated and enforced in 
my childhood. I was required to love, because it was 
my duty to love. It is scarcely necessary to remark that 
coercion obviated its own intention. ... It will be 
necessary, in order to elucidate this part of my history, 
to inform you that I am heir by entail to an estate 


Shelley in England 

of 6000 per annum. My principles have induced 
me to regard the law of primogeniture an evil of 
primary magnitude. My father's notions of family 
honour are incoincident with my knowledge of public 
good. I will never sacrifice the latter to any con- 
sideration. My father has ever regarded me as a blot, 
a defilement of his honour. He wished to induce me, 
by poverty, to accept of some commission in a distant 
regiment, and in the interim of my absence to prosecute 
the pamphlet, that a process of outlawry might make the 
estate, on his death, devolve to my younger brother." 
It is hard to believe or, indeed, explain the state- 
ment in this last sentence. Perhaps, when Mr. 
Shelley had failed to induce Bysshe, after he was 
expelled from Oxford, to engage in politics, he had 
expressed, in desperation, either to him or to someone 
else the wish that he should go into the army. Most 
likely it was no more than a fragment of wild talk on 
the part of Timothy Shelley that had been retailed to 
his son. 1 Godwin now expressed " a deep and earnest 

1 " You mistake me if you think that I am angry with my father. I 
have ever been desirous of a reconciliation with him, but the price which he 
demands for it is a renunciation of my opinions, or, at least, a subjection to 
conditions which should bind me to act in opposition to their very spirit. 
It is probable that my father has acted for my welfare, but the manner in 
which he has done so will not allow me to suppose that he has felt for it, 
unconnectedly, with certain considerations of birth ; and feeling for these 
things was not feeling for me. I never loved my father it was not from 
hardness of heart, for I have loved and do love warmly." Shelley to 
Godwin, Keswick, January 16, 1812. 


Married Life 

interest in the welfare " of his young correspondent, 
whose letters to the philosopher continued at frequent 

During the past few years Shelley had been an 
enthusiastic student of Godwin's great work, of the 
essays in The Enquirer, and of his novels. The 
earliest of these books had been published when 
Shelley was in his cradle ; the most recent were some 
years old. It was therefore not surprising that he 
had put Godwin down "in the list of the honourable 

It was more than fourteen years since William 
Godwin had lost his first wife, Mary Wollstonecraft, 
and eighteen years had elapsed since he had given 
to the world his Enquiry concerning Political Jus- 
tice and its Influence on General Virtue and Happi- 
ness, the book that had brought him fame, but no 
fortune. Godwin had for some years retired from 
the excitement of a publicist's career, had married a 
second time, and was living the life of a philosopher, 
in retreat at Skinner Street, Holborn Hill, where the 
Viaduct now stands. His energies were divided be- 
tween writing novels and producing books for a small 
publishing business known as the " Juvenile Library," 
of which his wife, Mary Jane Godwin, was manager. 
Charles and Mary Lamb were Godwin's friends and 
the chief authors of the Juvenile Library, in which 


Shelley in England 

their Tales from Shakespeare, Mrs. Leicester's School, 
and Lamb's Adventures of Ulysses had first been pub- 
lished. Hazlitt had written for the Library an English 
Grammar, and Godwin himself compiled, under the 
name of " William Baldwin, Esq.," a few educational 
books. The publications of the Juvenile Library 
sold well, and the business ought to have been suc- 
cessful ; but Godwin and his wife were hopeless 
muddlers, and the enterprise only launched them 
heavily into debt. 

The Godwin household was a strangely miscellane- 
ous one. There was (i) Godwin, whose philosophical 
calm remained unruffled notwithstanding the steadily 
rising waters of a flood of debts ; (2) Mrs. Godwin, 
a malevolent woman with a shrewish tongue, and the 
especial abomination of Charles Lamb, who has im- 
mortalised her green spectacles. Then there was (3) 
Mary, the daughter of Godwin and Mary Wollstone- 
craft ; (4) Fanny Imlay (or Godwin, as she was called), 
the daughter of Mary Wollstonecraft and Imlay ; Mrs. 
Godwin's two children by her first husband (5) Clara 
Mary Jane, and (6) Charles Clairmont ; and, lastly, 
William Godwin's son (7), William, by his second wife. 
It is not surprising that such a mixed family, confined 
to the narrow quarters over the shop in Skinner 
Street, found it at times difficult to live together in 
harmony. Things undoubtedly would have gone more 


Married Life 

smoothly but for the disturbing element of Mrs. 

During January Bysshe was preparing for his visit 
to Ireland, his object being, as he told Godwin, " prin- 
cipally to forward as much as we can the Catholic 
Emancipation " ; he also intended to urge the neces- 
sity of repealing the Union. The last week at Keswick 
was spent under the roof of William Calvert, who, 
like Southey, did his best to dissuade Shelley from 
his proposed Irish campaign ; but Mrs. Calvert 
favoured the idea, and was hearty in her wishes for 
the success of Shelley and his party. He was himself 
sure of success, and expressed perfect confidence in 
the impossibility of failure. 1 

Mr. Shelley had now arranged for the resumption 
of his son's allowance, which, with a similar sum from 
Mr. Westbrook, was sufficient for Bysshe's needs. 
On receiving the sum of 100 from Whitton he was 
ready to start for Dublin, and, with Harriet and Eliza 
Westbrook, he probably left Keswick on Sunday, 
February 3, and embarked from Whitehaven for the 
Isle of Man. After being driven from thence by a 
storm to the north of Ireland, they reached Dublin 
on the night of February 13. Shelley had written 
while at Keswick An Address to the Irish People, 
which he printed soon after he arrived at Dublin, 

1 Shelley to Miss Hitchener, January 26, 1812. 


Shelley in England 

and he fixed the price of the pamphlet at fivepence, 
" because," as he said in the advertisement, "it is 
the intention of the Author to awaken in the minds 
of the Irish poor a knowledge of their real state, 
summarily pointing out the evils of that state, and 
suggesting rational means of remedy Catholic Eman- 
cipation and a Repeal of the Union Act (the latter, 
the most successful engine that England ever wielded 
over the misery of fallen Ireland) being treated of, in 
the following Address, as grievances which unanimity 
and resolution may remove, and associations, con- 
ducted with peaceable firmness, being earnestly re- 
commended, as means for embodying that unanimity 
and firmness, which must finally be successful." As 
soon as it was printed, Bysshe threw copies of this 
pamphlet from the balcony of his lodgings in Lower 
Sackville Street. " I stand at the balcony of our 
window, and watch till I see a man who looks likely 
I throw a book to him." Harriet wrote to Miss 
Kitchener : "I'm sure you would laugh were you to 
see us give the pamphlets. We throw them out of 
the window, and give them to men that we pass in 
the streets. For myself, I am ready to die of laughter 
when it is done, and Percy looks so grave ; yesterday 
he put one into a woman's hood of a cloak. She 
knew nothing of it, and we passed her. I could 
hardly get on ; my muscles were so irritated." 


Married Life 

Bysshe sent a copy of the Address to Godwin 
through the post as a newspaper, "to save expense," 
as he said. It was charged as a letter, and the re- 
cipient had to pay a fine of i, is. Sd., which he did 
philosophically. Others who suffered by Shelley's 
mode of conveying the pamphlet were Mr. Westbrook 
and Miss Kitchener. Perhaps Mr. Shelley was also 
a victim, as there is a copy of the Address among 
the Shelley-Whitton papers, with corrections in the 
author's hand. 

Shelley wrote and printed another pamphlet, in 
the midst of much other activity, while in Dublin, 
with the following comprehensive title, "Proposals 
for an Association of those Philanthropists who, con- 
vinced of the inadequacy of the moral and political 
state of Ireland to produce benefits which are never- 
theless attainable, are willing to unite to accomplish 
its regeneration." 

Among the Shelley-Whitton papers there is a copy 
of the Dublin Weekly Messenger for Saturday, March 7, 
1812, with the following article, marked in red pencil, 
headed : 

" Pierce By she Shelly, Esq. [sic] 

"The highly interesting appearance of this young 
gentleman at the late Aggregate Meeting of the 
Catholics of Ireland has naturally excited a spirit of 
inquiry as to his objects and views in coming forward 


Shelley in England 

at such a meeting ; and the publications which he 
has circulated with such uncommon industry, through 
the Metropolis, has set curiosity on the wing to ascer- 
tain who he is, from whence he comes, and what his 
pretensions are to the confidence he solicits and the 
character he assumes. To those who have read the 
productions we have alluded to, we need bring for- 
ward no evidence of the cultivation of his mind, 
the benignity of his principles, or the peculiar fasci- 
nation with which he seems able to recommend 

" Of this gentleman's family we can say but little, 
but we can set down what we have heard from re- 
spectable authority : that his father is a member of 
the Imperial Parliament, and that this young gentle- 
man whom we have seen is the immediate heir of one 
of the first fortunes in England. Of his principles 
and his manners we can say more, because we can 
collect from conversation, as well as from reading, 
that he seems devoted to the propagation of those 
divine and Christian feelings which purify the human 
heart, give shelter to the poor and consolation to 
the unfortunate : that he is the bold and intrepid 
advocate of those principles which are calculated to 
give energy to truth, and to depose from their guilty 
eminence the bad and vicious passions of a corrupt 
community ; that a universality of charity is his 
object, and a perfectibility of human society his end, 
which cannot be attained by the conflicting dogmas of 
religious sects, each priding itself on the extinction of 
the other, and all existing by the mutual misfortunes 
which flow from polemical warfare. The principles 
of this young gentleman embrace all sects and all 
persuasions. His doctrines, political and religious, 


Married Life 

may be accommodated to all; every friend to true 
Christianity will be his religious friend, and every 
enemy to the liberties of Ireland will be his political 
enemy. The weapons he wields are those of reason 
and the most social benevolence. He deprecates vio- 
lence in the accomplishment of his views, and relies 
upon the mild and merciful spirit of toleration for 
the completion of all his designs and the consumma- 
tion of all his wishes. To the religious bigot such a 
missionary of truth is a formidable opponent ; by the 
political monopolist he will be considered the child of 
Chimera, the creature of fancy, an imaginary legis- 
lator who presumes to make laws without reflecting 
upon his materials, and despises those considerations 
which have baffled the hopes of the most philanthropic 
and the efforts of the most wise. It is true, human 
nature may be too depraved for such a hand as Mr. 
Shelly's to form to anything that is good, or liberal, 
or beneficent. Let him but take down one of the 
rotten pillars by which society is now propped, and 
substitute the purity of his own principles, and Mr. 
Shelly shall have done a great and lasting service to 
human nature. To this gentleman Ireland is much 
indebted for selecting her as the theatre of his first 
attempts in this holy work of human regeneration. 
The Catholics in Ireland should listen to him with 
respect, because they will find that an enlightened 
Englishman has interposed between the treason of 
their own countrymen and the almost conquered 
spirit of their country ; that Mr. Shelly has come 
to Ireland to demonstrate in his person that there 
are hearts in his own country not rendered callous by 
six hundred years of injustice ; and that the genius 
of freedom, which has communicated comfort and 


Shelley in England 

content to the cottage of the Englishman, has found 
its way to the humble roof of the Irish peasant, and 
promises by its presence to dissipate the sorrows of 
past ages, to obliterate the remembrance of persecu- 
tion, and close the long and wearisome scene of cen- 
turies of human depression. We extract from Mr. 
Shelly's last production, which he calls Proposals 
for an Association, &c. &c" 

After quoting some extracts from this pamphlet, the 
writer continues : 

" We have but one more word to add. Mr. Shelly, 
commiserating the sufferings of our distinguished 
countryman, Mr. Finerty, whose exertions in the cause 
of political freedom he much admired, wrote a very 
beautiful poem, the profits of which, we understand 
from undoubted authority, Mr. Shelly remitted to Mr. 
Finerty ; we have heard they amounted to nearly 
a hundred pounds. This fact speaks a volume in 
favour of our new friend." * 

Perhaps the reason for the copy of this paper being 
among Whitton's papers is that it may have been sent 
to Mr. Shelley by Bysshe. The proceedings of the 
meeting which took place on Friday, February 28, 
at the Fishamble Street Theatre were noticed in 
several Irish papers and in the London Morning 
Chronicle, which said the theatre " was brilliantly 
illuminated. . . . The boxes were filled with ladies, 

1 See an/e, p. 150. 

Married Life 

full dressed, and the whole is represented as having a 
very imposing effect." The articles from the Weekly 
Messenger, and reports from other Dublin papers, are 
given in the late Mr. D. F. MacCarthy's work, Shelley's 
Early Life, which contains a full account of the Irish 

Another reference to Shelley's doings in Ireland, 
preserved with the Shelley-Whitton papers, is the 
following cutting from a Lewes newspaper, on which 
Mr. Shelley wrote, " Lewes Paper, ist June, 1812." 
Apparently it relates to the Address to the Irish People, 
and it was perhaps forwarded to the editor by Miss 
Kitchener, as Shelley wrote to her on March 10, " Send 
me the Sussex papers. Insert, or make them insert, 
the account of me. It may have a good effect on the 
minds of the people, as a preparation." Harriet adds 
in her contribution to the same letter, " Send us the 
paper in which you have inserted the Address" 

The editor of the Lewes paper, however, did not 
take kindly to the suggestion, and declined to fill his 
columns with Shelley's pamphlet. He said : 

" We have been favoured with the address of 
P. B. S., Esq., and entertain no doubt of his benevo- 
lent and humane intentions. Nevertheless, after due 
consideration, we are of opinion that any especial 
notice of the accompanying letter would have a ten- 
dency to defeat the ends he has in view, as a public 
exposure of the accused parties, however just, might 


Shelley in England 

irritate their minds and lead them to direct, with 
greater severity, the lash of tyranny and oppres- 
sion against the object of his commiseration, who 
appears to be completely within their power." 

Shelley was evidently anxious that his friends in 
Sussex should hear of his activities in Ireland. He 
wrote on March 20 to the elder Medwin : "As you will 
see by the Lewes paper, I am in the midst of over- 
whelming engagements." The news had already 
reached Field Place if he sent his father the copy of his 
pamphlet, and Whitton had probably received it when 
he wrote to Sir Bysshe on March 5 : "I was much 
concerned to hear your account of Mr. Timothy 
Shelley [who was evidently ill] . His son is in Dublin, 
publishing some hints for bettering the state of the 

Shelley spent a part of his time in preparing a 
volume of poems for the press and in endeavouring 
to get them published, but the Dublin publisher to 
whom he applied held up the MS., and the book was 
never printed during the author's lifetime. Some 
seventy years later, Shelley's grandson, Mr. Charles 
Esdaile, who subsequently owned the MS., allowed 
Professor Dowden to print extracts from the poems 
in his Life of Shelley. 

Shelley also managed to make some acquaintances 
during his sojourn in the Irish capital, one of whom 


Married Life 

was John Lawless, or " honest Jack Lawless," as he 
was called by his friends, who was perhaps responsible 
for the article on the young politician in the Weekly 
Messenger. Curran was another, and a greater, Irish- 
man whom he met through the introduction of Godwin. 

Godwin, indeed, who was never long out of Shelley's 
mind, was the recipient of many letters which kept 
him posted with intelligence concerning the progress 
of the campaign. Shelley, moreover, acquainted 
Godwin with his opinions generally, his views on life, 
and the doings of his domestic circle. 

' You speak of my wife," he said ; " she desires with 
me to you, and to all connected with you, her best 
regards. She is a woman whose pursuits, hopes, 
fears, and sorrows were so similar to my own that we 
married a few months ago. I hope in the course of 
this year to introduce her to you and yours, as I have 
introduced myself to you. It is only to those who 
have had some share in making me what I am that I 
can be thus free. Adieu ! You will hear from me 
shortly. Give my love and respects to everyone 
with whom you are connected. I feel myself almost 
at your fireside. . . . I send the little book for which 
I was expelled. I have not changed my sentiments. 
I know that Milton believed Christianity, but I do 
not forget that Virgil believed ancient mythology." 

Godwin told Shelley that he had read his letters 

385 2B 

Shelley in England 

(" the first perhaps excepted ") " with peculiar inte- 
rest." As far as he had been able to penetrate his 
character, he conceived "it to exhibit an extra- 
ordinary assemblage of lovely qualities, not without 
considerable defects." The source of the defects, he 
thought, was that Shelley was very young, and that, 
in essential respects, he did not sufficiently perceive 
that he was so. Godwin expressed his disagreement 
with the principles set forth by Shelley in his pam- 
phlets as strongly as he disapproved of his visit to 
Ireland, and he regretted that the effect of Political 
Justice on his young friend should have resulted in 
his campaign. He said, " Shelley, you are preparing 
a scene of blood ! If your associations take effect to 
any extensive degree, tremendous consequences will 
follow, and hundreds, by their calamitous and pre- 
mature fate, will expiate your error." Godwin con- 
tinued, " I wish to my heart you would come im- 
mediately to London. I have a friend who has con- 
trived a tube to convey passengers sixty miles an 
hour. Be youth your tube ! I have a thousand things 
I could say orally, more than I can say in a letter 
on this important subject. Away ! You cannot 
imagine how much all the females of my family, 
Mrs. G. and three daughters, are interested in your 
letters and history." 

Shelley was either tired of his Irish expedition, or, 

Married Life 

as he told Godwin, he was ready to take the advice 
of his guide, philosopher, and friend to whom he 
wrote on March 19 that he had already withdrawn 
the circulation of his publications wherein he had 
erred, and that he was preparing to quit Dublin. 

The Shelleys left Dublin on April 4, and after a 
rough passage of thirty-six hours (instead of twelve, 
as they had expected) they reached Holyhead. On 
April 7 they began a journey across Wales in search 
of a house, and their wanderings led them to Nant- 
gwillt, Rhayader, Radnorshire, in South Wales, a 
district already familiar to Shelley through his visit 
to his cousins, the Groves. The place that he settled 
in was a farm of about 200 acres, with a good house, 
at a yearly rent of 98, which he thought " abundantly 
cheap/' and so it may have been, had he intended to 
turn farmer and live up to the description which he 
had given himself when he was married at Edinburgh. 
The proprietor of the house was a bankrupt, and his 
assignees had offered the lease, stock, and furniture 
of the premises to Shelley, who was "anxious to 
purchase." So anxious was he to take advantage of 
this offer that he wrote on April 25 to Medwin that 
the assignees were willing to give him credit for 
eighteen months or longer, as his being a minor his 
signature was invalid. " Would you object to join 
your name to my bond, or, rather, to pledge yourself 


Shelley in England 

for my standing by the agreement when I come of 
age ? The sum is likely to be six or seven hundred 
pounds." The Horsham lawyer no doubt refused, 
as he had already made enough trouble for himself 
with Mr. Shelley by lending Bysshe money on the 
eve of his departure for Edinburgh. The day before 
writing this letter to Medwin he had sent the following 
to his father : 

P. B. Shelley to Timothy Shelley 

April 24, 1812. 

DEAR SIR, The last of your communications 
through Mr. Whitton put a period to any immediate 
prospect of coming to those amicable terms on which 
I wish to stand with yourself and my family. It 
has at last occurred to me that the probable cause 
of the offence which you so suddenly took, was a 
clandestine attempt on my part to correspond with 
Hellen. You very well know that I could not corre- 
spond with any of my sisters openly, and that it is very 
natural for me to attempt to keep alive in one at 
least an affection when all the others are at variance 
with one. An additional motive was that my corre- 
spondence would have been such as is calculated to 
improve the understanding and expand the heart. I 
am now at Nantgwilt in Radnorshire, and being de- 
sirous to settle with my wife in a retired spot, think of 
taking this house and farm. The farm is about 200 
acres, the house a very good one, the yearly rent 98. 


Married Life 

The furniture and the stock must, however, be pur- 
chased, which will cost 500. This sum, if I were to 
raise it, would not be obtained under exorbitant 
interest, and probably, at all events, with difficulty. 
If you would advance it to me, I should at once, 
by your means, be settled where my yearly income 
would amply suffice, which would otherwise be dissi- 
pated in searching for a situation where it might 
maintain myself and my wife. You have now an 
opportunity of settling the heir to your property 
where he may quietly and gentlemanly pursue those 
avocations which are calculated hereafter to render 
him no disgrace to your family on a more extended 
theatre of action. 

If you feel inclined to assist me with the sum for the 
purposes I mention, and it is inconvenient to give any 
ready money, your name for the amount would suffice. 

I am now at the house of Mr. Hooper (Nantgwilt), 
who has become bankrupt, and with whose assignees 
I am treating for the lease, furniture, &c. If you 
will accede to my request, or if you reject it, pray be 
so kind as to inform me as soon as you can make it 
convenient, as I am at present in a state of suspense 
which is far from pleasant. 

Your daughter-in-law is confined by a tedious in- 
termittent fever, which considerably augments the 
gloomy feelings incident to our unsettled state. I 
hope that all at Field Place are in good health. Dear 
Sir, yours very respectfully, 


[Addressed] : 

T. SHELLEY, Esq., M.P., [Readdressed] : 

Field Place, " Miller's Hotel, 

Horsham, Sussex. Westminster Bridge. 


Shelley in England 

Mr. Shelley replied curtly to the letter through 
Whitton, on May 5, that he declined making the 
advance that Bysshe had mentioned, or to give any 

In their letters to Elizabeth Kitchener she had 
received frequent appeals from Bysshe and Harriet 
to visit, or, indeed, to take up her residence with 
them. They asked her to come to Keswick, and when 
she was unable to accept their invitation, it was 
decided that on their return from Ireland she should 
pay her long-deferred visit in Wales. She still hesi- 
tated, because to be absent from her school for any 
length of time would necessitate closing it. 

Miss Kitchener had evidently broached the subject 
to Mrs. Pilfold, and spoken in glowing terms of her 
ardent young correspondent. Mrs. Pilfold could make 
nothing of this platonic friendship, and chose to add 
a questionable colour to it. She was anxious not to 
lose her schoolmistress, and was determined to stop 
Miss Kitchener's visit to the Shelleys. Busybodies 
were soon active at Cuckfield, and Miss Kitchener 
was quick to communicate the scandal to Bysshe. 
He was depressed when these unwelcome tidings 
reached him, for Harriet was ill with a bilious fever, 
so he wrote to his friend : "A week ago I said, 
' Give me Nantgwilt ; fix me in this spot, so retired, 
so lovely, so fit for the seclusion of those who think 


Married Life 

and feel. Fate, I ask no more.' Little then did I 
expect my Harriet's illness, or that flaming opposi- 
tion which the mischievous and credulous around 
you are preparing against the most cherished wishes 
of my heart. Now I say, ' Fate, give my Harriet 
health, give my Portia peace, and I will excuse the 
remainder of my requisition.' Oh, my beloved friend, 
let not the sweet cup be dashed from the lips of those 
who alone can appreciate the luxury, at the instant 
that Fate has yielded it to their power ! " l He 
referred to the subject in his next letter to " Portia " 
(the name that Bysshe and Harriet had given to 
Eliza Kitchener) : " And so our dear friends are 
determined to destroy our peace of mind if we live to- 
gether determined, all for our good, to make us all 
the most miserable wretches on earth. Now this, 
it must be confessed, is truly humane and conde- 
scending. But how is it to be managed ? Where will 
they begin ? In what manner will they destroy our 
peace of mind without eradicating that conscious 
integrity whence it springs ? " Bysshe had written 
to the Captain and to Miss Kitchener's father to try 
and allay the scandal. The Captain's reply was that 
reports were current such as Miss Kitchener had 
described, but " he professed to disbelieve the ' Mis- 
tress ' business, but asserted that I certainly was 

1 Shelley to Miss Hitchener, May i, 1812. 

Shelley in England 

very much attached to you. I certainly should feel 
quite as much inclined to deny my own existence as 
to deny this latter charge ; altho' I took care to assure 
him that, in the vague sense which he had annexed 
to the word ' love,' he was utterly mistaken." l 

The result of this gossip was to further postpone 
Portia's visit. For one thing, Shelley had not been 
successful in coming to any arrangement for the 
possession of Nantgwillt, as the possessor was not 
disposed to let him remain without security, which 
he was unable to obtain. He had decided to go for 
a short time to the Groves at Cwm Elan, but before 
he left Nantgwillt he wrote to his grandfather. He 
may have thought that if he could produce a letter 
from Sir Bysshe stating what he was prepared to do 
for him, that it might be accepted as a security by 
the possessor of the Nantgwillt property. 

P. B. Shelley to Sir Bysshe Shelley 



June 2, 1812. 

SIR, I take the liberty of writing to you in con- 
sequence of a hint which I haverecieved [sic], preferring 
in cases of importance to negociate with principals. 

I had heard that you designed, on my coming of 
age, to enter into some terms with me, respecting 

1 Shelley to Miss Kitchener, May 7, 1812. 

Married Life 

money matters, which terms, if at all compatible with 
my own interest, believe me I shall be ready to 
accede to. 

Altho' at present in circumstances that very much 
require assistance, I do not venture to ask for any 
remittance from you, knowing that all acts of a minor 
are void in law, but you would very much oblige me 
if you would state to me the nature of the terms 
about to be proposed on the expiration of my minority, 
to which I am not so adverse as I may have been 

I am now about to take the place whence I date 
this letter. I remain, with much respect, your aff. 
Grandson, P. B. SHELLEY. 

[Addressed] : 


After a short stay at Cwm Elan, the Shelleys moved 
to Lynmouth. While they were there, Bysshe issued 
from the office of a Barnstaple printer his " Letter 
to Lord Ellenborough, occasioned by the Sentence 
which he passed on Mr. D. I. Eaton, as Publisher of 
the Third Part of Paine's Age of Reason." In this 
little pamphlet Shelley first gave proof of his gifts as 
a writer of prose. It was, however, as short-lived as 
The Necessity of Atheism. The printer, on examining 
the contents of the pamphlet, destroyed most of the 
impression, and all save one 1 of seventy-five copies 

1 This unique copy is now in the Bodleian Library. 


Shelley in England 

which Shelley despatched to his friend Hookham, the 
Bond Street publisher, met a similar fate. 

Shelley had caused to be printed, probably while 
he was in Dublin, a broadside which he described as 
a " Declaration of Rights," consisting of a number 
of sentences, drawn up in the form of appeals to 
the people similar to those placarded on the walls 
and houses of Paris during the French Revolution. 
His hurried departure from Ireland, and Godwin's 
grave warning, had probably decided him not to 
make use of this form of propaganda in Dublin. He 
was, however, unable to withstand the temptation of 
trying the effect of the broadsides on the people of 
Devon, and he engaged a man to fix them on the walls 
of Barnstaple. The man was arrested and sentenced 
to a fine of 200 or six months' imprisonment. Shelley, 
who was unable to meet the fine, promised to pay a 
sum of fifteen shillings a week in consideration of a 
mitigation of the sentence. This was one of the 
causes that brought Shelley's visit to Lynmouth to 
an end. 

Miss Kitchener, who was no longer able to with- 
stand Bysshe's insistent invitations, decided to visit 
her friends at Lynmouth. Accordingly she closed her 
school, started on her journey, and in passing through 
London supped and slept at the Godwins' house on 


Married Life 

July 14. It is possible that the pleasure anticipated 
by Shelley in having her under his roof was speedily 
abated, if it was ever realised. Harriet was evidently 
not much impressed with her guest when she wrote 
on August 4 to Catherine Nugent, an acquaintance 
whom she had made in Dublin : " Our friend, Miss 
Kitchener, is come to us. She is very busy writing 
for the good of mankind. She is very dark in com- 
plexion, with a great quantity of black hair. She 
talks a great deal. If you like great talkers, she will 
suit you. She is taller than me or my sister, and as 
thin as it is possible to be. I hope you will see her 
some day." 

Very soon Harriet began to suspect that Portia 
was in love with Bysshe, who, so far from recipro- 
cating these feelings, now doubted her republicanism 
and sincerity. It was a painful position for the poor 
woman ; her head had been turned by her young 
friend's passionate letters, and she was unable to live 
up to the ideal that he had created of her. 

The Shelleys hastily left Lynmouth apparently 
towards the end of August, and, crossing the Bristol 
Channel, settled at length near Tremadoc in a house 
called Tanyrallt. Here Bysshe found a fresh field for 
his energies. His landlord, Mr. W. A. Maddocks, M.P., 
had reclaimed from the sea a large tract of marshland 
in Carnarvonshire, and had built upon it the new 


Shelley in England 

town of Tremadoc, which had been named after its 
enterprising founder. At the time of Shelley's visit 
to the town an embankment was in the course of 
construction to protect Tremadoc from danger of 
destruction by the sea. Shelley became keenly in- 
terested in the fate of the embankment, and besides 
canvassing the neighbourhood for subscriptions, he 
headed the list with a sum of 100, and went up 
to London with his wife, Eliza Westbrook, and Miss 
Kitchener to forward his object. Bysshe applied to 
the Duke of Norfolk for a contribution, but, according 
to Hogg, the Duke politely declined, excusing himself 
on the score of having no funds at his immediate 
disposal. 1 

Bysshe was now as anxious to arrange the de- 
parture of Miss Hitchener as he had been to welcome 
her under his roof. It was no easy task, but at last 
she was induced to leave on or before November 8, 
having received the promise of an allowance of 100 

1 Shelley was so embarrassed at this time for want of money that he 
appears to have been actually arrested for debt. The only available 
information on this subject is contained in a letter, dated June 12, 1844, 
from William Roberts, a surgeon of Carnarvon, to Peacock, Shelley's 
executor. Roberts stated that some thirty years previously Shelley was 
arrested at Carnarvon for a sum of money which he owed, and he would 
have been sent to gaol if Roberts had not bailed him for the amount. 
Roberts, who thus became acquainted with Shelley and visited him at 
Tremadoc, lent him 30, which sum he never paid, but he discharged 
the debt for which he was arrested. In another letter addressed to Sir 
Timothy Shelley on February 7, 1824, Roberts asked for the payment 
of a sum of 6, which he said was owing to him from Shelley. 

39 6 

Married Life 

a year. " ' The Brown Demon/ " wrote Bysshe, on 
December 3, to Hogg (with whom he was now recon- 
ciled), " as we now call our late tormentor and school- 
mistress, must receive her stipend. I pay it with a 
heavy heart and an unwilling hand ; but it must be 
so. She was deprived by our misjudging haste of 
a situation, where she was going on smoothly ; and 
now she says that her reputation is gone, her health 
ruined, her peace of mind destroyed by my barbarity 
a complete victim to all the woes, mental and bodily, 
that heroine ever suffered ! This is not all fact ; but 
certainly she is embarrassed and poor, and we, being 
in some degree the cause, we ought to obviate it." 
That he thought her " artful, superficial, ugly," and 
worse, was no excuse for Bysshe's treatment of his 
former friend. He declared that his astonishment at 
his fatuity, inconsistency, and bad taste was never 
so great as after living four months with her as an 
inmate. " What would Hell be," he added, " were 
such a woman in Heaven ? " 




Shelley meets Mary Godwin The assault at Tanyrallt Ireland 
revisited Queen Mob The birth of lanthe London Duke of 
Norfolk The Godwins J. F. Newton Mrs. Boinville Bracknell 
Shelley revisits the Lakes and Edinburgh T. L. Peacock 
Elephantiasis Money difficulties Shelley's last visit to Field 
Place Shelley remarried Mary Godwin Shelley takes leave of 

WHILE Shelley and Harriet were in London during 
the autumn of 1812, they did not omit to visit the 
Godwins, and they saw them frequently ; but a dinner 
at their house on October n calls for particular 
attention. It was on this occasion that Bysshe prob- 
ably met Mary Godwin, his future wife, for the first 
time. She had been spending the summer with her 
friends, the Baxters, in Scotland, but she returned 
home on the previous day. Mary, who had at the 
time but lately passed her fifteenth year, perhaps did 
not specially attract Bysshe's attention. 

By the first week in December Bysshe had left 
London and was back at Tanyrallt, where he remained 
with Harriet and Eliza Westbrook till the following 
March. His departure was precipitated by an assault 


Parting from Harriet 

made on him during the night of February 26, 1813, 
by a half-witted sheep-farmer. 

For ninety-two years the mystery of this attack 
remained unsolved, and the account of it given by 
Bysshe, which is now proved to have been correct, 
has been described by many of the poet's biographers 
as either an hallucination of his brain or a trick to 
escape from his creditors at Tremadoc. Miss Margaret 
L. Crofts contributed to the Century Magazine for 
October 1905 a well-attested account of Shelley's 
adventure. In his wanderings over the mountains he 
had sometimes come on sheep that were dying of scab 
or some other lingering disease, and out of pity for 
these helpless creatures he would put an end to their 
sufferings by a kindly shot from the pistol which he 
usually carried. A rough Welsh mountain sheep- 
farmer was so exasperated by Shelley's well-meant 
ministrations that he and his friends went down to 
Tanyrallt one stormy night in February, and the 
farmer discharged a shot through the window with the 
intention of giving Shelley a good fright. Shelley 
fired, but his pistol flashed in the pan, whereupon the 
farmer entered the room, wrestled with him, and finally 
knocked him down. The rough face and figure of the 
farmer gave Shelley the impression that he saw the 
devil when he looked out at the man standing by 
a beech tree. The assailants gained their end, for 


Shelley in England 

Shelley, Harriet, and her sister left the house the next 
day and journeyed to Bangor on their way to Ireland. 

After a stormy passage Shelley with the two ladies 
reached Dublin on March 9. Their object in revisiting 
the Irish capital was apparently nothing more than 
a desire to get away from the scenes of that ugly 
night at Tremadoc. During his previous visit Shelley 
had been too busy to see any of the beauties of Irish 
scenery, but on this occasion he made good the omis- 
sion by going to Lake Killarney, where, according to 
Hogg, he occupied a cottage. The place made a deep 
and lasting impression on him, for he wrote to Peacock 
from Milan, some years after, that " Lake Como ex- 
ceeds anything that I ever beheld in beauty, with 
the exception of the Arbutus Islands of Killarney." 

Hogg had been invited to visit Shelley at Tanyrallt, 
but owing to the poet's hasty flight from that place, 
it was abandoned, and he was asked to come to Dublin. 
He journeyed to the Irish capital, only to find that the 
Shelley s had gone to Killarney, and after waiting a 
week or ten days for them he returned to England, 
vexed at his fruitless quest. 

During his sojourn at Dublin, Shelley had sent 
Hookham the manuscript of Queen Mab, the writing 
of which had occupied him for some months. He had 
referred to the poem in his letter to Hookham of 
August 1 8, 1812, and enclosed, by way of specimen, 


Parting from Harriet 

all that he had written of it at that date. He said, 
" I conceive that I have matter enough for six more 
cantos. You will perceive that I have not attempted 
to temper my constitutional enthusiasm in that poem. 
Indeed, a poem is safe ; the iron-souled Attorney- 
General would scarcely dare to attack it. The Past, 
the Present, and the Future are the grand and com- 
prehensive topics of this poem. I have not yet ex- 
hausted the second of them." He proposed to make 
the notes to Queen Mob long, philosophical, and anti- 
Christian, and to take the opportunity, he judged 
a safe one, of propagating his principles, which, he 
said, " I decline to do syllogistically in a poem. A 
poem very didactic is, I think, very stupid." He 
wished to have " only 250 copies printed, in a small 
neat quarto on fine paper, and so as to catch the 
aristocrats. They will not read it, but their sons and 
daughters may." Hookham, who probably superin- 
tended the printing of the poem, in small octavo, 
did not put his name to it nor that of the actual 
printer. The title-page of the volume, which was 
issued privately by Shelley, bears his own name as 
printer with the address of his father-in-law, 23 Chapel 
Street, Grosvenor Square, and the famous epigraph 
from Voltaire's correspondence, " Ecrasez 1'infame." 

Towards the end of March Shelley and Harriet 
departed for Dublin in great haste, and left Miss 

401 2C 

Shelley in England 

Westbrook at Killarney with a large library, but 
without money, so that, as Hogg said, she might not 
be tempted to discontinue her studies. By April 5, 
Shelley and his wife were in London at Chapel Street, 
and after staying for a few days at an hotel in Albe- 
marle Street they took lodgings in Half-Moon Street, 
where they remained for several months. Hogg 
describes a little projecting window in the house, in 
which Shelley might be seen from the street all day 
long, book in hand, with lively gestures and bright 
eyes, so that Mrs. Newton said, " He wanted only 
a pan of clear water and a fresh turf to look 
like some young lady's lark hanging outside for air 
and song." l 

During the summer of this year (1813), when the 
Shelleys were living somewhere in Pimlico, Harriet 
gave birth to her first-born, a girl, who was named 
lanthe Elizabeth. Apparently lanthe was of Shelley's 
choosing, after the Lady in Queen Mob ; Elizabeth 
was the name of his favourite sister as well also as that 
of Harriet's sister. lanthe Shelley, who became Mrs. 
Esdaile, died in June 1876, and her descendants are 
Shelley's only living representatives. 

Once more Bysshe wrote to his father in the hope 
of a reconciliation, and, according to a statement in 
one of Harriet's letters, he expected to be forgiven. 

1 Hogg's Life of Shelley, vol. ii. p. 389. 

Parting from Harriet 

She said that Mr. Shelley's family were Very eager to 
be reconciled to Bysshe. Mr. Shelley's reply, how- 
ever, was unfavourable. 

P. B. Shelley to Timothy Shelley 


May 4, 1813. 

MY DEAR FATHER, I once more presume to address 
you to state to you my sincere desire of being con- 
sidered as worthy of a restoration to the intercourse 
of yourself and your family, which I forfeited by my 

Some time since I stated my feelings on this subject 
in a letter to the Duke of Norfolk. I was agreeably 
surprised by a visit from him the other day, and much 
regretted that illness prevented me from keeping my 
appointment with him on the succeeding morning. 
If, however, I could convince you of the change that 
has taken place in some of the most unfavourable 
traits of my character and of my willingness to make 
any concession that may be judged best for the inte- 
rest of my family, I flatter myself that there would 
be little further need of his Grace's interference. 

I hope the time is approaching when we shall con- 
sider each other as father and son with more con- 
fidence than ever, and that I shall no longer be a cause 
of disunion to the happiness of my family. I was 
happy to hear from John Grove, who dined with us 
yesterday, that you continue in good health. My 
wife unites with me in respectful regards. 1 

1 From Hogg's Life of Shelley. 

Shelley in England 

Mr. Shelley replied in a letter, prompted by his 
solicitor, 1 that put an end to any hopes that Bysshe 
may have entertained. 

Timothy Shelley to P. B. Shelley 


May 26, 1813. 

MY DEAR BOY, I am sorry to find by the contents 
of your letter of yesterday that I was mistaken in the 
conclusion I drew from your former letter, in which 
you had assured me that a change had taken place in 
some of the most unfavourable Traits in your Char- 
acter, as what regards your avow'd opinions are in my 
Judgment the most material parts of Character re- 
quiring amendment ; and as you now avow there is 
no change effected in them, I must decline all further 
Communication, or any Personal Interview, until that 
shall be Effected, and I desire you will consider this 
as my final answer to anything vou may have to 

If that Conclusion had not operated on my mind 
to give this answer, I desire you also to understand 
that I should not have received any Communication 
but through His Grace the Duke of Norfolk, as I know 
his exalted mind will protect me at the moment, and 
with the World. I beg to return all usual remem- 
brance. I am, Yr. Affecti. Father, 


Bysshe wrote to the Duke of Norfolk, on May 28, 
to thank him for the warm interest that he had taken 

1 Whitton in his minute book writes on May 20, 1813 : " Letter to 
Mr. Shelley advising on the letter to P. B." 


Parting from Harriet 

in his concerns, and expressing regret that he should 
have occupied his time in " the vain and impossible 
task of reconciling " him and his father. Bysshe was 
prepared to make every reasonable concession to 
Mr. Shelley, but he was not, he said, " so degraded and 
miserable a slave as publicly to disavow an opinion 
which I believe to be true." Bysshe enclosed his father's 
reply, with this letter, for the Duke's inspection. 

Bysshe came of age on August 4, 1813, but appar- 
ently he now had small prospect of immediately 
obtaining a settlement as regards his affairs. He 
had some debts, contracted in view of being in a 
position to liquidate them on attaining his majority, 
and they were now pressing. Despite Mr. Shelley's 
threat that he would not receive his son, Bysshe 
managed to see his father and to tell him that he had 
heard that efforts were on foot to deprive him of his 
interest in the estates under the will of his great- 
uncle, John Shelley. This was, of course, a baseless 
rumour. Mr. Shelley received his son kindly, but the 
interview had no beneficial result for him. Field Place 
was still forbidden ground, although Bysshe managed 
to correspond with his sisters and mother, from whom 
he received letters, his mother keeping him posted up 
in all the news regarding his father's movements. 

Bysshe found much to interest him in town. Queen 
Mob was probably now about to be issued, and he 


Shelley in England 

would constantly be in and out of the shop of Thomas 
Hookham, the friendly little publisher of New Bond 
Street, who apparently superintended the printing of 
the poem. The book was printed for private circu- 
lation, and Bysshe distributed the copies himself, 
but before doing so he cut out from many of them the 
title-page and the imprint at the end of the volume, as 
in both places his name appeared as the printer. 
This precaution was taken in order to avoid the danger 
of prosecution. From most of the copies "that passed 
through his hands, the deeply appreciative dedication 
to Harriet was also removed. The volume bears the 
date of 1813, but as far as I am aware there is no 
published evidence as to the exact month when it 
was ready. The removal of the dedication by the 
author may indicate that it was put into circulation 
at the end of 1813, or possibly the beginning of 1814, 
when Shelley and Harriet were drifting apart, or that 
the copies so treated by him were distributed during, 
or after, that painful period of his life. 

Bysshe and his wife did not see much of Godwin 
because, as Harriet wrote to Miss Nugent, " his wife 
is so dreadfully disagreeable that I could not bear 
the idea of seeing her. Mr. S. has done that away, 
tho', by telling G. that I could not bear the society of 
his darling wife. Poor man, we are not the only 
people who find her troublesome." 


Parting from Harriet 

Through Godwin, however, Shelley had made the 
acquaintance, when he visited London in the autumn 
of 1812, of John Frank Newton, author of The Return 
to Nature, or a Defence of the Vegetable Regimen, 1811. 
With his strong leanings towards vegetarianism Shelley 
was attracted to Newton and his book, and made use 
of the former in his vegetarian note in Queen Mab, 
which was subsequently printed as a separate pamph- 
let as A Vindication of Natural Diet. 

At the Newtons' house in Chester Square Bysshe 
was admitted to a circle of people whose tastes and 
ideas he found very congenial. Besides Newton and 
his wife there were Mrs. Boinville, sister to Mrs. 
Newton, and her daughter Cornelia, who afterwards 
became Mrs. Turner. In a letter from Shelley to 
Hogg belonging to the summer of 1813, he speaks of 
what was undoubtedly for him an unusual diversion : 
late hours and Vauxhall Gardens. " Last night your 
short note arrived, also beyond its hour, and the 
Newtons had already taken me with them. This 
night the Newtons have a party at Vauxhall ; if you 
will call here at nine o'clock we will go together." 

In July Shelley, Harriet,- and the inevitable Eliza 
went to Bracknell, where they took a furnished house, 
" High Elms," with the intention of remaining 
there until the following spring. The Newtons had 
been kind and helpful to Shelley, and Mrs. Boinville, 


Shelley in England 

who was especially interested in him, moved to 
Bracknell, where the intimacy of the two families 
continued. Mrs. Boinville and Mrs. Newton were the 
daughters of a wealthy West Indian planter who 
resided in England. His house was the resort of 
many a French emigre, and one of them, M. de Boin- 
ville, a man of position whose property had been 
confiscated, declared his love to Miss Collins, but, as 
the match was objected to by her father, they eloped, 
and were married at Gretna Green, and afterwards 
according to the rites of the Church of England. 
M. de Boinville went to Russia with Napoleon, and 
died during the retreat from Moscow in 1813, and 
shortly afterwards Mrs. Boinville lost her father. 
Her hair had become quite white through this double 
sorrow, but her face still retained much of its youthful 
beauty, and Shelley had named her Maimuna, after 
the lady in Southey's Thalaba, for 

" Her face was as a damsel's face, 
And yet her hair was grey." 

Shelley was becoming restless again towards the 
autumn of 1813. He gave up his house at Bracknell, 
and his thoughts turned once more towards Wales, 
but early in October he seems to have contemplated 
revisiting the Lakes. He had procured a carriage 
some months before, and in this he travelled north 


Parting from Harriet 

with Harriet, their little daughter, and Thomas Love 
Peacock. They went by way of Warwick, and after a 
week's journey from London they reached Low Wood 
Inn, near Windermere. After visiting the Calverts 
at Keswick, and failing to obtain a house, they decided 
on Edinburgh, and arrived there some days later. 

Peacock, who was on a visit to Bracknell when 
Shelley persuaded him to accompany him on this 
journey, tells us that he saw the poet for the first 
time in 1812 just before he went to Tanyrallt. Shelley, 
in a letter to Hogg from Edinburgh, thus describes 
Peacock, with whose poetry he was already familiar, 
and it had won his admiration, but his estimate of 
the man was not very enthusiastic. " A new ac- 
quaintance is on a visit with us this winter. He is a 
very mild, agreeable man, and a good scholar. His 
enthusiasm is not very ardent, nor his views very 
comprehensive : but he is neither superstitious, ill- 
tempered, dogmatical, or proud." 

When Shelley became better acquainted with Pea- 
cock he appreciated to the full the good qualities of 
the " laughing philosopher/' Peacock seems to have 
taken more trouble than any other of Shelley's friends 
to induce him to find pleasure in some of the good 
things of this world, which he was inclined to neglect, 
partly owing to his habits of seclusion. Peacock 
interested himself in Shelley's Greek studies, and some 


Shelley in England 

years later took him to the opera, and endeavoured 
to induce him to cultivate a more generous diet : his 
prescription was " two mutton chops well peppered." 
The diet agreed with the poet, and he was not averse 
from the opera, but he went on with neither. It is 
possible that Peacock appreciated Shelley more than 
his poetry : this seems to have been the case with 
most of Bysshe's friends ; Byron, perhaps, being the 
one exception. 

Shelley was at times subject to strange delusions, 
but, towards the end of 1813, he was troubled by a 
most extraordinary one. Peacock, who is our autho- 
rity, tells us that " he fancied that a fat old woman 
who sat opposite to him in a mail-coach was afflicted 
with elephantiasis, that the disease was infectious and 
incurable, and that he had caught it from her. He 
was continually on the watch for its symptoms ; his 
legs were to swell to the size of an elephant's, and his 
skin was to be crumpled over like goose-skin. He 
would draw the skin of his own hands, arms, and neck 
very tight, and, if he discovered any deviation from 
smoothness, he would seize the person next to him, 
and endeavour by a corresponding pressure to see if 
any corresponding deviation existed. He often startled 
young ladies in an evening party by this singular 
process, which was as instantaneous as a flash of 
lightning. His friends took various methods of dis- 


Parting from Harriet 

pelling the delusion. When he found, as days rolled 
on, his legs retained their proportion and his skin its 
smoothness, the delusion died away." 

Money matters again began to trouble Shelley while 
at Edinburgh, and he wrote to an unidentified corre- 
spondent on November 28, on whom he had been com- 
pelled to draw for a sum of 30, that the consequence 
of having the bill returned would necessitate, as he 
says, " our being driven out of our lodgings." On 
his return south, he went to stay alone, about the 
middle of February, with his kind friend Mrs. Boinville. 
From her house he wrote on March 13, 1814, to his 
father about his affairs, which had become so critical 
that he could no longer delay raising money by the 
sale of post-obit bonds to a considerable amount. 
He pointed out that the demands of moneylenders 
necessitated vast sacrifices, and that he did not propose 
to unsettle the estate by conceding them. He gave 
his father the credit for the will, but realised his lack 
of power to do all that he could reasonably expect. 
Sir Bysshe, he thought, must surely see that his hopes 
of perpetuating the integrity of the estates would be 
frustrated by neglecting to relieve the necessities of 
his grandson. Should he be driven to do so he would 
have to dismember the property in the event of the 
death of his grandfather and father. 

Mr. Shelley had already been talking to Sir Bysshe 

Shelley in England 

about his son, and he had evidently made up his 
mind to do something for him when he wrote on 
March 7 to Whitton : "... My father talked to 
me abt. P. B. He said he was told he co d . do nothing 
from a certain person I will tell you the reason when 
I see you I co d . have told him a ready mode (but I 
forbore and bear in mind yr. hint), i.e. to pay the 
debts, give an allowance, & in the first instance lay a 
restraint, by Bonding, as they do at the Customs. My 
father said he would sell Castle Goring ; that he does 
not mean, and any offer of so doing wo d . be nutts 
for the unchristian and unfeeling-like spirit." 

On March 15 Mr. Shelley again wrote to Whitton 
with reference to Bysshe's communication of March 
13: "I enclose you P. B.'s letter; the tenor of it 
would not at all suit his grandfather's notions and 
on my own part I would rather he would first acknow- 
ledge his God, then I might be led to believe his 
assertions. My assurances of perfect reconciliation 
flow'd from that source. I doubt, but there are con- 
siderable difficulties for him to encounter in procuring 
sufficient to answer the large demands. P. B. had 
better leave it to Mr. Amory [Bysshe's solicitor] to 
communicate these matters to you I could wish Mr. 
Amory would so advise him." 

On March 4, shortly before Bysshe wrote the last- 
quoted letter to his father, he had made the sale of 


Parting from Harriet 

a post obit. His object in raising this money was 
primarily, if not entirely, to assist Godwin. The 
indenture, however, was not made until July, and the 
transaction was therefore not then complete at the 
date of his letter to Mr. Shelley. The reversion of 
8000 sterling was offered for sale on the above date 
at Garra way's Coffee House, Change Alley, " amply 
secured," as it was stated, " upon valuable freehold 
property, and made payable at the decease of the 
survivor of two gentlemen, one [Sir Bysshe] between 
80 and 90, and the other [Mr. Shelley] upwards of 
60 years of age, in case they are both survived by a 
gentleman [Bysshe] in his 22nd year." The pur- 
chasers were Messrs. Andrew John Nash and George 
Augustus Nash of Cornhill, who secured it for a sum 
of 2593, los. 

The following copy of a letter to Messrs. Nash's 
solicitor, with regard to this transaction, is among the 
Shelley- Whitton papers and has not been included in 
the collected edition of Shelley's correspondence : 

P. B. Shelley to Mr. Tecsdale 


May 6, 1814. 

SIR, I beg to inform you that to the best of my 
knowledge, having made every enquiry on the subject, 
there has been no portion of the Shelley Estate sold 
under the Settlement of 1791 except that to Lord 


Shelley in England 

George Cavendish. As to any transaction of my own 
I have raised no money on the reversion unless in one 
instance the sum of 500, and I assure you on my 
word of honour that I shall engage in no transaction 
that can be any way prejudicial to the interest of Mr. 
Nash, the purchaser. 1 Yours, &c., 


Early in the summer of this year Bysshe paid his 
last visit to Field Place. His father and the three 
youngest children were absent, and he came at his 
mother's invitation. He walked alone from Bracknell 
to Horsham, and when within a few miles of Field 
Place a farmer gave him a seat in his travelling cart. 
The man, being ignorant whom he was carrying, 
amused Bysshe with descriptions of the country 
and its inhabitants, and when Field Place came in 
sight, he stated, as the most remarkable incident 
connected with the family, that young Master Shelley 
seldom went to church. When Bysshe arrived he 
was greatly fatigued by his journey. From a descrip- 
tion of the visit, written in later years by Captain 
Kennedy, a young officer who had met with hospitality 
at Field Place, one is able to reconstruct the scene. 
Until his arrival Kennedy had not seen Bysshe, but 

1 Shortly after the death of Sir Bysshe in 1815 Shelley filed a Bill in 
Chancery against Messrs. Nash to have the Indenture dated I2th July 
1814 rescinded, but the case went against the poet, judgment being 
given in favour of the defendants on May 28, 1818. 


Parting from Harriet 

the servants, especially the old butler, Laker, had 
spoken to him, and " he seemed to have won the hearts 
of the whole household." Mrs. Shelley had often 
spoken of her son to Kennedy ; " her heart yearned 
after him with all the fondness of a mother's love." 

Kennedy went to Field Place on the morning 
following Bysshe's arrival, and " found him with his 
mother and two elder sisters in a small room off the 
drawing-room, which they had named Confusion Hall." 
He received Kennedy with frankness and kindliness, 
as if he had known him from childhood, and he at 
once won the young soldier's heart. To continue 
Kennedy's account in his own words : "I fancy I see 
him now, as he sat by the window, and hear his voice, 
the tones of which impressed me with his sincerity 
and simplicity. His resemblance to his sister Elizabeth 
was as striking as if they had been twins. His eyes 
were most expressive, his complexion beautifully fair ; 
his features exquisitely fine ; his hair was dark, and 
no peculiar attention to its arrangement was manifest. 
In person he was slender and gentlemanlike, but in- 
clined to stoop ; his gait was decidedly not military. 
The general appearance indicated great delicacy of 
constitution. One would at once pronounce him, that 
he was something different from other men. There 
was an earnestness in his manner, and such perfect 
gentleness of breeding and freedom from everything 


Shelley in England 

artificial, as charmed everyone. I never met a man 
who so immediately won upon one. The generosity 
of his disposition and utter unselfishness imposed 
upon him the necessity of strict self-denial in personal 
comforts. Consequently he was obliged to be most 
economical in his dress. He one day asked us how 
we liked his coat, the only one he had brought with 
him. We said it was very nice, it looked as if new. 
' Well/ said he, ' it is an old black coat which I have 
had done up and smartened with metal buttons and a 
velvet collar.' As it was undesirable that Bysshe's 
presence in the country should be known, we arranged 
that in walking out he should wear my scarlet uniform, 
and that I should assume his outer garments. So he 
donned the soldier's dress and sallied forth. His head 
was so remarkably small that, though mine be not 
large, the cap came down over his eyes, the peak resting 
on his nose, and it had to be stuffed before it would fit 
him. His hat just stuck on the crown of my head. 
He certainly looked anything but a soldier. 

" The metamorphosis was very amusing ; he en- 
joyed it much, and made himself perfectly at home in 
his unwonted garb. We gave him the name of Captain 
Jones, under which name we used to talk of him after 
his departure ; but, with all our care, Bysshe's visit 
could not be kept a secret. I chanced to mention 
the name of Sir James Mackintosh, of whom he 


Parting from Harriet 

expressed the highest admiration. He told me Sir 
James was intimate with one [Godwin] to whom he 
said he owed everything ; from whose book, Political 
Justice, he had derived all that was valuable in know- 
ledge and virtue. He discoursed with eloquence and 
enthusiasm ; but his views seemed to me exquisitely 
metaphysical, and by no means clear, precise, or 
decided. He told me that he had already read the 
Bible four times. [Kennedy said ' in Hebrew/ which, 
as Hogg states, he never learnt ; he probably said ' in 
Greek/ as he was much addicted to reading the 
Septuagint.] He spoke of the Supreme Being as of 
infinite mercy and benevolence. He disclosed no 
fixed views of spiritual things ; all seemed wild and 
fanciful. He said that he once thought the surround- 
ing atmosphere was peopled with the spirits of the 
departed. He reasoned and spoke as a perfect gentle- 
man, and treated my arguments, boy as I was I had 
lately completely my sixteenth year with as much 
consideration and respect as if I had been his equal 
in ability and attainments. Shelley was one of the 
most sensitive of human beings ; he had a horror of 
taking life, and looked upon it as a crime. He read 
poetry with great emphasis and solemnity ; one 
evening he read aloud to us a translation of one of 
Goethe's poems, and at this day I think I hear him. In 
music he seemed to delight, as a medium of association : 

417 2 D 

Shelley in England 

the tunes which had been favourites in boyhood charmed 
him. There was one, which he played several times on 
the piano with one hand, that seemed to absorb him ; 
it was an exceedingly simple air which, I understand, his 
earliest love was wont to play for him. Poor fellow ! 
He soon left us, and I never saw him afterwards, but 
I can never forget him. It was his last visit to Field 
Place. He was an amiable and gentle being." 

Mrs. Boinville was evidently aware of the crisis in 
Shelley's life, and, in allusion to his visit, she wrote 
from Bracknell to Hogg, on March n, 1814 : "I will 
not have you despise homespun pleasures. Shelley is 
making a trial of them with us, and likes them so well 
that he is resolved to leave off rambling, and to begin 
a course of them himself. Seriously, I think his mind 
and body want rest. His journeys after what he has 
never found have racked his purse and his tranquillity. 
He is resolved to take a little care of the former in pity 
to the latter, which I applaud, and shall second with 
all my might. He has deeply interested us. In the 
course of your intimacy he must have made you feel 
what we now feel for him. He is seeking a house close 
to us ; and if he succeeds, we shall have an additional 
motive to induce you to come among us in the summer." 

The following, one of the most pathetic letters that 
Shelley ever penned, was written from Mrs. Boinville's 
hospitable house : 


Parting from Harriet 

P. B. Shelley to T. J. Hogg 


March 16, 1814. 

MY DEAR FRIEND, I promised to write to you, 
when I was in the humour. Our intercourse has been 
too much interrupted for my consolation. My spirits 
have not sufficed to induce the exertion of determining 
me to write to you. My value, my affection for you, 
have sustained no diminution ; but I am a feeble, 
wavering, feverish being, who requires support and 
consolation, which his energies are too exhausted to 

I have been staying with Mrs. B[oinville] for the last 
month ; I have escaped, in the society of all that 
philosophy and friendship combine, from the dismaying 
solitude of myself. They have revived in my heart 
the expiring flame of life. I have felt myself trans- 
lated to a paradise which has nothing of mortality 
but its transitoriness ; my heart sickens at the view 
of that necessity, which will quickly divide me from 
the , delightful tranquillity of this happy home for 
it has become my home. The trees, the bridge, 
the minutest object, have already a place in my 

My friend, you are happier than I. You have the 
pleasures as well as the pains of sensibility. I have 
sunk into a premature old age of exhaustion, which 
renders me dead to everything but the inenviable 
capacity of indulging the vanity of hope, and a terrible 
susceptibility to objects of disgust and hatred. 

My temporal concerns are slowly rectifying them- 
selves ; I am astonished at my own indifference to 


Shelley in England 

their event. I live here like the insect that sports in 
a transient sunbeam, which the next cloud shall obscure 
for ever. I am much changed from what I was. I 
look with regret to our happy evenings at Oxford, 
and with wonder at the hopes which in the excess of 
my madness I there encouraged. Burns says, you 

" Pleasures are like poppies spread, 
You seize the flower the bloom is fled ; 
Or like the snow-falls in the river, 
A moment white then lost forever." 

Eliza is still with us not here ! but will be with 
me when the infinite malice of destiny forces me to 
depart. I am now but little inclined to contest this 
point. I certainly hate her with all my heart and 
soul. It is a sight which awakens an inexpressible 
sensation of disgust and horror, to see her caress my 
poor little lanthe, in whom I may hereafter find the 
consolation of sympathy. I sometimes feel faint with 
the fatigue of checking the overflowings of my un- 
bounded abhorrence for this miserable wretch. But 
she is no more than a blind and loathsome worm that 
cannot see to sting. 

I have begun to learn Italian again. I am reading 
Beccaria, " Dei delitti e pene." His essay seems to 
contain some excellent remarks, though I do not think 
it deserves the reputation it has gained. Cornelia 
assists me in this language. Did I not once tell 
you that I thought her cold and reserved ? She 
is the reverse of this, as she is the reverse of 
everything bad. She inherits all the divinity of her 

What have you written ? I have been unable to 

Parting from Harriet 

write a common letter. I have forced myself to read 
Beccaria and Dumont's Bentham. I have sometimes 
forgotten that I am not an inmate of this delightful 
home that a time will come, which will cast me 
again into the boundless ocean of abhorred society. 

I have written nothing, but one stanza, which has 
no meaning, and that I have only written in thought : 

" Thy dewy locks sink on my breast ; 

Thy gentle words stir poison there ; 
Thou hast disturbed the only rest 

That was the portion of despair ! 
Subdued to Duty's hard control, 

I could have borne my wayward lot ; 
The chains that bind this ruined soul 

Had cankered then but crushed it not." 

This is the vision of a delirious and distempered 
dream, which passes away at the cold clear light of 
morning. Its surpassing excellence and exquisite 
perfections have no more reality than the colour of an 
autumnal sunset. Adieu ! Believe me, truly and 
affectionately yours, P. B. SHELLEY. 1 

Hogg thought that one might infer from the tone 
and temper of this letter " that his family might have 
had him then on reasonable, on easy terms, had they 
known how to negotiate a treaty of peace. They 
might probably have lured the wild hawk, the pere- 
grine falcon, back to his perch without difficulty. 
Possibly they did not know it ; certainly they did not 
know how to set about it ; and the young wanderer 

1 From Hogg's Life of Shelley. 

Shelley in England 

was reserved for other, and for higher and more 
important destinies." Probably Mrs. Boinville, who 
had herself made a Scotch marriage, counselled Shelley 
to remarry in England, so as to avoid any question 
of the validity of the ceremony in Edinburgh. Much 
depended on the legitimacy of his heir, should he have 
one, and he was well advised to take this step. On 
March 22 he and Godwin went to Doctors' Commons 
and obtained a License. The ceremony took place 
at St. George's, Hanover Square, on March 24. 

The "Allegations," filed at the Vicar-General's 
office and made in support of the application for License 
to marry, state that : 

On the 22nd March 1814 appeared personally 
Percy Bysshe Shelley and made Oath that he is 
of the Parish of Saint George Hanover Square in 
the County of Middlesex of the age of twenty-one 1 
years and upwards, and that on the twenty-ninth day 
of August one thousand eight hundred and eleven, 
he being then a bachelor and a minor of the age of 
nineteen years and upwards was joined in holy matri- 
mony by the Reverend Robertson, a minister of the 
Church of Scotland, at his dwelling-house in the City 
of Edinburgh, according to the rites and ceremonies 
of the Church of Scotland, to Harriet Shelley then 
Westbrook spinster and also a minor of the age of 
sixteen years and upwards, and he further made Oath 
that the said Harriet Shelley is now of the Parish of 

1 This is incorrect : his birthday was on Aug. 4th. 

Parting from Harriet 

Saint George Hanover Square aforesaid a minor of the 
age of eighteen years and upwards, and that to obviate 
all doubts which have arisen or may arise touching 
the validity of the said marriage the appearer and the 
said Harriet Shelley heretofore Westbrook are willing 
and desirous of being married again in strict conformity 
of law by and with the consent of John Westbrook, 
the natural and lawful father of the said Harriet Shelley 
heretofore Westbrook the minor aforesaid, and that 
he knoweth of no lawful impediment by reason of any 
precontract Consanguinity Affinity or other lawful 
cause whatsoever to hinder the said intended marriage, 
and prayed a license to solemnize the same in the 
Parish Church of Saint George Hanover Square afore- 
said, and further made Oath that the usual place of 
abode of him the appearer hath been in the said 
Parish of Saint George Hanover Square for the space 
of Four weeks last past. 


Sworn before me 

Also appeared personally the said John Westbrook 
of the Parish of Saint George Hanover Square aforesaid, 
Gentleman, and made Oath that he is the natural and 
lawful father of the said Harriet Shelley (heretofore 
Westbrook, Spinster) the Minor aforesaid, and that he 
is consenting to the above intended Marriage. 


23 of March 1814 the said John Westbrook was 
sworn before me 

(Signed) S. PARTON SUR . . . 

Shelley in England 

Book of Marriages Vol. II. Fo. 189. 

Marriages in March 1814. No. 164. 

Percy Bysshe Shelley and Harriet Shelley (formerly 
Harriet Westbrook, Spinster, a Minor), both of this 
Parish, were remarrie'd in this Church by License (the 
Parties having been already married to each other 
according to the Rites and Ceremonies of the Church of 
Scotland) in order to obviate all doubts that have arisen 
or shall or may arise touching or concerning the validity 
of the aforesaid Marriage by and with the consent of 
John Westbrook, the natural and lawful Father of the 
said Minor, this twenty-fourth day of March 1814. 
by me EDW D - WILLIAMS, Curate. 


This Marriage was HARRIET SlIELLEYj formerl 
solemnised between us\ HARRIET WESTBROOK 

In the presence of JOHN WESTBROOK, 

Until their return south after the second visit to 
Edinburgh Bysshe and Harriet seem to have been 
happy together. There is no doubt from her letters 
to Miss Nugent that she was devoted to him ; and he 
regarded her with sincere affection. 

For his dedication to her in Queen Mob he had 
written in 1813 : 

" Whose is the love that, gleaming through the world, 
Wards off the poisonous arrow of its scorn ? 
Whose is the warm and partial praise, 
Virtue's most sweet reward ? 


Parting from Harriet 

Beneath whose looks did my reviving soul 
Ripen in truth and virtuous daring grow ? 

Whose eyes have I gazed fondly on, 

And loved mankind the more ? 

Harriet ! on thine : 'thou wert my purer mind ; 
Thou wert the inspiration of my song ; 

Thine are these early wilding flowers, 

Though garlanded by me. 

Then press unto thy breast this pledge of love ; 

And know, though time may change and years may roll, 

Each floweret gather'd in my heart 

It consecrates to thine." 

During their short married life of two years Bysshe 
and Harriet had mainly depended on each other for 
companionship. Now they were beginning to find 
distractions, both after their own tastes. They both 
possessed strong personal attractions for the opposite 
sex, and clouds were gathering. Harriet was but 
eighteen, though, since she had been a mother, she 
had felt much older. " When I look back," she wrote, 
" to the time before I was married, I seem to have 
lived a long time." Shelley was still undeveloped, 
but he had already begun to feel his wings. His 
Letter to Lord Ellenborough was a proof that he pos- 
sessed gifts for writing prose ; the quality of his 
letters to his friends had improved ; and Queen Mab 
was a not unworthy precursor of Alastor. He was in 
the ascendant, and poor Harriet was powerless to 
keep him much longer by her side. 


Shelley in England 

Both Shelley and Harriet were devoted to their 
first child. Peacock tells us that Shelley " would 
walk up and down a room with it in his arms for a 
long time together, singing to it a monotonous melody 
of his own making, which ran on the repetition of 
a word of his own making, ' Yahmani, Yahmani, 
Yahmani, Yahmani.' It did not please me, but, what 
was more important, it pleased the child, and lulled 
it when it was fretful. Shelley was extremely fond 
of his children. He was pre-eminently an affectionate 
father." Harriet's letters to Miss Nugent contain 
several references to her little girl, which show that 
she likewise was an affectionate mother. But she 
refused to suckle the child, and, to quote Peacock 
again, she provided it with a wet nurse whom Shelley 
did not like, and lanthe was much looked after by 
his wife's sister, whom Shelley intensely disliked. 1 

Eliza Westbrook, who had come to stay with the 
Shelleys shortly after their marriage, and had since 
stuck to them with the tenacity of a leech, must be 
reckoned as an important factor in our consideration 
of Shelley's separation from Harriet. Had this well- 
meaning woman left their house some months earlier, 
events still might have righted themselves. The 
intense loathing with which Shelley regarded his 

1 I quote in the following account from a summary that I wrote for 
another publication, of the process of Shelley's separation from Harriet. 


Parting from Harriet 

sister-in-law finds expression in his letter to Hogg on 
March 16, 1814. A month later Eliza Westbrook 
departed from the Shelley household. 

Harriet's coldness and want of sympathy towards 
Shelley at this time may have been the result of his 
undisguised dislike of her much-beloved sister. " His 
violent antipathy," says Hogg, with regard to Shelley's 
aversion to Eliza Westbrook, " was probably not less 
unreasonable than his former excess of deference and 
blind compliance and concession towards a person 
whose counsels and direction could never have been 
prudent, safe, or judicious." At this most critical 
period Harriet foolishly allowed herself to be influ- 
enced by her sister, under whose advice she probably 
acted when, some months earlier, she prevailed upon 
Shelley to provide her with a carriage, silver plate, 
and expensive clothes. Shelley's affairs at this time 
were already embarrassed, and the fact that Harriet 
should care for such gew-gaws was to him altogether 
repugnant, for he had formerly described " the ease 
and simplicity of her habits " as constituting, in his 
eyes, her greatest charm. 

After the birth of her first child Harriet's manner 
underwent a change. " Her studies," Hogg tells us, 
"which had been so constant and exemplary, had 
dwindled away to nothing, and Bysshe had ceased to 
express any interest in them, and to urge her, as of 


Shelley in England 

old, to devote herself to the cultivation of her mind. 
When I called upon her, she proposed a walk, if the 
weather was fine, instead of the vigorous and con- 
tinuous readings of preceding years. The walk com- 
monly conducted us to some fashionable bonnet shop ; 
the reading, it is not to be denied, was sometimes 
tiresome ; the contemplation of bonnets was always so. 
When I called upon Bysshe, Harriet was often absent ; 
she had gone out with Eliza gone to her father's. 
Bysshe himself was sometimes in London, and some- 
times at Bracknell, where he spent a good deal of 
his time in visiting certain friends [Mrs. Boinville 
and her daughter], with whom at this period he was 
in close alliance, and upon terms of the greatest 
intimacy, and by which connection his subsequent 
conduct, I think, was much influenced." l 

Shelley found Madame de Boinville " the most 
admirable specimen of a human being " he had ever 
seen, although in later years he had reason to believe 
that " it was hardly possible for a person of the extreme 
subtlety and delicacy of Mrs. Boinville's understanding 
and affections to be quite sincere and constant." 
Hogg distrusted her ; he did not appreciate the mis- 
cellaneous company of faddists who were to be met 
at her house ; but her society stimulated Shelley's 
intellectual development, and caused him to view the 

1 Life of Shelley, vol. ii. pp. 500-501. 

Parting from Harriet 

narrow outlook of Harriet and her sister with dis- 

Shelley's re-marriage, on March 24, cannot be 
adduced as a proof of his affection for Harriet. His 
state of mind at this time is reflected in those stanzas 
which he probably wrote just before he concluded his 
visit to Mrs. Boinville. They are dated April 1814, 
when he contemplated, with a sinking heart, his 
inevitable return to an existence of dreary monotony 
with Harriet and her sister. 


Away ! the moor is dark beneath the moon, 

Rapid clouds have drunk the last pale beam of even : 
Away ! the gathering winds will call the darkness soon, 

And profoundest midnight shroud the serene lights of heaven. 
Pause not ! The time is past ! Every voice cries, Away ! 

Tempt not with one last tear thy friend's ungentle mood : 
Thy lover's eye, so glazed and cold, dares not entreat thy stay: 

Duty and dereliction guide thee back to solitude. 

Away, away ! to thy sad and silent home ; 

Pour bitter tears on its desolated hearth ; 
Watch the dim shades as like ghosts they go and come, 

And complicate strange webs of melancholy mirth ; 
The leaves of wasted autumn woods shall float around thine head, 

The blooms of dewy spring shall gleam beneath thy feet : 
But thy soul or this world must fade in the frost that binds the dead, 

Ere midnight's frown and morning's smile, ere thou and peace 
may meet. 

The cloud shadows of midnight possess their own repose, 
For the weary winds are silent, or the moon is in the deep ; 

Some respite to its turbulence unresting ocean knows ; 
Whatever moves or toils, or grieves, hath its appointed sleep. 


Shelley in England 

Thou in the grave shall rest yet till the phantoms flee 

Which that house and heath and garden made dear to thee ere- 

Thy remembrance, and repentance, and deep musings, are not free, 
From the music of two voices and the light of one sweet smile. 

According to Mrs. Boinville's letter to Hogg of 
April 18, 18I4, 1 Shelley was then at Bracknell. Harriet 
had gone to town, presumably to her father's, and 
Eliza Westbrook had taken her departure. Although 
Harriet had now become cold and proud, Shelley still 
hoped to regain her love, and in some verses inscribed 
" To Harriet, 1814," 2 he makes a pathetic appeal to 
her affection. Whether Harriet was moved by this 
appeal or not, we do not know. She evidently never 
intended to alienate herself from Shelley, but she was 
staying at Bath, with her father, during the early days 
of July, while Shelley had remained in London since 
the end of May, excepting for a period of ten days, 
from June 8th to the i8th. Shelley, however, still 
continued to correspond with Harriet, as is shown 
by the following letter which she addressed to 
Thomas Hookham on July 6 or 7, 1814, from 6 
Queen's Square, Bath. 

MY DEAR SIR, You will greatly oblige me by giving 
the enclosed to Mr. Shelley. I would not trouble you, 
but it is now four days since I have heard from him, 

1 Life of Shelley, vol. ii. p. 553. 

2 First printed in Professor Dowden's Life of Shelley, vol. i. p. 413. 


Parting from Harriet 

which to me is an age. Will you write by return of 
post, and tell me what has become of him? If you 
tell me that he is well, I shall not come to London ; but 
if I do not hear from you or him, I shall certainly 
come, as I cannot endure this dreadful state of sus- 
pense. You are his friend, and you can feel for me. 
I remain, yours truly, H. S. 

Although Shelley's own pecuniary affairs in 1814 
were most unsatisfactory, his admiration for Godwin 
was such that he engaged to help him out of his 
embarrassments by assisting him to raise a sum of 
money, said to be no less than three thousand pounds. 
This was the first of these negotiations on behalf of 
Godwin, which continued to be such a source of trouble 
to Shelley almost till his last days. He had not been 
to Godwin's house since March 22, when he went 
with him to procure his marriage licence. But it was 
now necessary for Shelley to be much in Godwin's 
company, and after he returned to London on July 18 
he joined the Skinner Street household each day at 
dinner. It was during these days that Shelley first 
came in contact with Mary Godwin, who had just 
returned from Scotland on a visit to the Baxters. 
On June 8, the date of Lord Cochrane's trial, Hogg 
first saw Mary Godwin. He met Shelley in Cheapside, 
and walked with him through Newgate Street to 
Godwin's shop in Skinner Street. Shelley inquired 

Shelley in England 

for Godwin, who was not at home, and, while he was 
waiting for the philosopher in his book-room, " the 
door was partially and softly opened. A thrilling 
voice called, ' Shelley ! ' A thrilling voice answered, 
' Mary ! ' And he darted out of the room like an 
arrow from the bow of the far-shooting king. A 
very young female, fair and fair-headed, pale indeed, 
with a piercing look, wearing a frock of tartan, an 
unusual dress in London at the time, had called him 
out of the room. He was absent a very short time 
a minute or two and then returned. ' Godwin is 
out ; there is no use in waiting.' So we continued 
our walk along Holborn. ' Who was that, pray ? ' 
I asked ; ' a daughter ? ' ' Yes/ ' A daughter of 
William Godwin ? ' ' The daughter of Godwin and 
Mary.' " 

The shop at Skinner Street was the recognised 
place of pilgrimage for those who venerated the name 
of Mary Wollstonecraft. Godwin had gone to live 
there after her death, but there were still some relics 
that lingered about the place to remind the visitor 
of her memory. Godwin himself was there, and his 
young daughter who bore her mother's name, Mary 
Wollstonecraft, while Opie's fine painting of the 
author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman 
looked down from its place over the chimney-piece in 
the parlour. 


Parting from Harriet 

Mary was now a girl of sixteen, with a head and neck 
afterwards compared to a bust of Clytie, and she was 
devoted to her mother's memory, of whose life she had 
heard at least something from her father's lips. The 
girl was accustomed to visit her mother's grave in 
St. Pancras Churchyard, and here, it is said, she and 
Shelley plighted their troth in the summer of 1814. 
Some lines which Shelley addressed to Mary, said l to 
have been written in the June of this year, are a 
confession of his passion : 


Mine eyes were dim with tears unshed ; 

Yes, I was firm thus wert not thou ; 
My baffled looks did fear yet dread 

To meet thy looks I could not know 
How anxiously they sought to shine 
With soothing pity upon mine. 

To sit and curb the soul's mute rage 

Which preys upon itself alone ; 
To curse the life which is the cage 

Of fettered grief that dares not groan, 
Hiding from many a careless eye 
The scorned load of agony. 

Whilst thou alone, then not regarded 

The [ ] thou alone should be 
To spend years thus, and be rewarded, 

As thou, sweet love, requited me 
When none were near Oh ! I did wake 
From torture for that moment's sake. 

1 By Dr. Richard Garnett. 

433 2E 

Shelley in England 

Upon my heart thy accents sweet 

Of peace and pity fell like dew 
On flowers half dead ; thy lips did meet 

Mine tremblingly ; thy dark eyes threw 
Their soft persuasion on my brain, 
Charming away its dream of pain. 

We are not happy, sweet ! our state 
Is strange, and full of doubt and fear ; 

More need of words that ills abate ; 
Reserve or censure come not near 

Our sacred friendship, lest there be 

No solace left for thou and me. 

Gentle and good and mild thou art, 

Nor can I live if thou appear 
Aught but thyself, or turn thine heart 

Away from me, or stoop to wear 
The mask of scorn, although it be 
To hide the love thou feel'st for me. 

One other written proof of their love-making is still 
extant. It is in a copy of Queen Mob which Shelley 
gave her, and wrote inside the cover in pencil, " Mary 
Wollstonecraft Godwin, P.B.S.," and in another place, 
" You see, Mary, I have not forgotten you." From 
this book he had removed, as was his custom, the 
title-page and the imprint at the end, but he retained 
the dedication to Harriet, and wrote below it care- 
fully in ink : " Count Slobendorf was about to marry 
a woman who, attracted solely by his fortune, proved 
his selfishness by deserting him in prison." 

Mary wrote on the fly-leaves at the end of the 
volume : " July 1814. This book is sacred to me, 


Parting from Harriet 

and as no other creature shall ever look into it, I may 
write in it what I please yet what shall I write ? 
that I love the author beyond all the powers of ex- 
pression, and that I am parted from him, dearest and 
only love by that love we have promised to each 
other, although I may not be yours, I can never be 
another's. But I am thine, exclusively thine. 

" ' By the kiss of love, the glance none saw beside, 

The smile none else might understand, 
The whispered thought of hearts allied, 
The pressure of the thrilling hand.' 1 

" I have pledged myself to thee, and sacred is the 
gift. I remember your words : ' You are now, Mary, 
going to mix with many, and for a moment I shall 
depart, but in the solitude of your chamber I shall 
be with you.' Yes, you are ever with me, sacred 

" ' But ah ! I feel in this was given 

A blessing never meant for me, 
Thou art too like a dream from heaven 
For earthly love to merit thee.' " 2 

Suggestions have been made that Harriet was un- 
faithful to Shelley before their separation, and that 
she was in love with a Major Ryan, who is mentioned 
in her correspondence with Miss Nugent. Apparently 
there is nothing to support this supposition ; on the 

1 From Byron's " To Thyrza," the first line is altered. 

2 From Byron's lines beginning " If sometimes in the haunts of men." 


Shelley in England 

contrary, the evidence is entirely in her favour. 
Peacock, Hogg, and Hookham, all of whom knew her 
intimately, believed her to be perfectly innocent of 
any guilt, and Thornton, Hunt, and Trelawny shared 
the same belief. On the other hand, Shelley is said to 
have been convinced to the contrary in July 1814, 
and to have held this opinion to the day of his death. 
But if Shelley had not thought her guilty, the fact 
that he was certain she no longer loved him was 
sufficient in his sight to make it impossible for him 
to live with Harriet as her husband. 

The convictions on the subject of marriage that 
he had expressed in Queen Mob in 1813 remained his 
convictions in 1814. He felt he was free to give his 
heart to Mary, with whom he was now deeply in love. 
Harriet failed to realise that she had lost Shelley, and 
she came to London, at his request, on July 14, when 
he disclosed to her his position. Peacock says : " The 
separation did not take place by mutual consent. 
I cannot think that Shelley ever so represented it. 
He never did so to me ; and the account which 
Harriet herself gave me of the entire proceeding was 
decidedly contradictory to any such supposition. He 
might well have said, after seeing Mary Wollstonecraft 
Godwin, ' Ut vidi ! ut peril ! ' Nothing that I ever 
read in tale or history could ever present a more 
striking image of a sudden, violent, irresistible, un- 


Parting from Harriet 

controllable passion than that under which I found 
him labouring when, at his request, I went up from the 
country to call on him in London. Between his old 
feelings towards Harriet, from whom he was not then 
separated, and his new passion for Mary, he showed in 
his looks, in his gestures, in his speech, the state of 
a mind suffering, ' like a little kingdom, the nature of 
an insurrection.' His eyes were bloodshot, his hair 
and dress disordered. He caught up a bottle of 
laudanum, and said, ' I never part from this/ He 
added, ' I am always repeating your lines from 
" Sophocles" : 

' " Man's happiest lot is not to be ; 

And when we tread life's thorny steep, 
Most blest are they, who earliest free 
Descend to Earth's eternal sleep." ' 

Again, he said more calmly, ' Everyone who knows 
me must know that the partner of my life should be 
one who can feel poetry and understand philosophy. 
Harriet is a noble animal, but she can do neither/ 
I said, ' It always appeared to me that you were very 
fond of Harriet/ Without affirming or denying this 
he answered, ' But you did not know how I hated 
her sister ! ' " 



Shelley's elopement with Mary Godwin His letter to Harriet 
Poverty in London Birth of Charles Bysshe Shelley Death of 
Sir Bysshe Shelley His will Shelley's income Life at Bishop- 
gate The maintenance of Shelley's children Shelley acts on the 
stage at Windsor The case of Du Cane v. Shelley Alastor 
Shelley's second visit to the Continent Godwin's unfriendly 
attitude Shelley returns to England Makes his will The death 
of Fanny Godwin Death of Harriet Shelley Inquest on her body 
Her grave. 

HAVING reached that point when Shelley parted from 
Harriet, I shall in the following chapters tell as much 
of his life as is necessary to illustrate the unpublished 
material in the Shelley-Whitton papers. 

Mary Godwin, accompanied by Clare Clairmont, 1 left 
her father's shop in Skinner Street at five o'clock 
on the morning of July 28, 1814, walked to the 
corner of Hatton Garden, and found Shelley in wait- 
ing with a post-chaise. At the moment of parting, 
Clare was persuaded to enter the carriage with Mary, 
as she could speak French, which was an attainment 
that neither Shelley nor Mary possessed. It was a 

1 Clara Jane Mary Clairmont, who was known in her family as Jane, 
adopted the name of Clare, Clara, or Claire towards the end of the 
year 1814. 


The Death of Harriet 

blazingly hot day, hotter than had been known for 
many years in England, and Mary was overcome with 
faintness, so that it was found necessary for her to 
rest at each stage. But these delays gave Shelley 
some anxious moments, and at Dartford he took four 
horses in order to outstrip pursuit. Dover was reached 
before four o'clock in the afternoon, and Mary re- 
freshed herself with a sea -bath. The fugitives, who 
were too impatient to wait until the following day 
for the packet, hired a small boat and resolved to 
cross the Channel the same evening, the seamen 
promising them a passage of two hours. The evening 
was beautifully fine, but as night came on and the 
moon rose a heavy swell and a fresh breeze produced 
a rough sea. The journey was prolonged by the bad 
weather ; Mary was very ill, and she rested against 
Shelley's knees as hour after hour went by. Suddenly 
a thunder squall struck the sail, the boat was in peril 
and almost overturned, but the wind then changed 
and they made straight for Calais. Mary at length 
fell asleep, and still slumbered while Shelley watched 
the sun rise over France. 

Mrs. Godwin had started in pursuit of the girls as 
soon as they were missed ; she crossed, on the follow- 
ing day, in the packet for which Shelley had refused 
to wait, and managed to catch them up at Calais. 
Shelley was informed " that a fat lady had arrived, 


Shelley in England 

who said that he had run away with her daughter." 
The lady was, of course, Mrs. Godwin. Clare spent 
the night with her mother, who endeavoured to induce 
her to return home. On the following day Clare was 
undecided what to do, until Shelley counselled her to 
take time to consider, whereupon she chose to bear 
Mary company. So Mrs. Godwin went back alone, 
and " without answering a word." 

The two girls, dressed in black satin, now proceeded 
with Shelley towards Paris, where they remained for 
a week. Shelley, with characteristic want of fore- 
sight, had neglected to provide himself with sufficient 
money, and he was forced to sell his watch and chain 
for eight napoleons. But he managed to obtain 
further funds from a French man of business, and 
they were then able to continue their journey towards 
Switzerland. They purchased a donkey with the in- 
tention of riding him by turns, but the poor beast 
was scarcely able to carry their portmanteau, much 
less one of the party. So they sold him and purchased 
a mule, which for some time carried Mary and the 
luggage. This arrangement continued, Shelley and 
Clare walking beside the animal, until the poet hurt 
his ankle on August 12, and was obliged to ride while 
the girls followed him on foot. The same evening 
they reached Troyes, and on the day after Shelley 
wrote to Harriet. 


The Death of Harriet 

P. B. Shelley to Harriet Shelley 

TROVES (120 miles from Paris on 

the way to Switzerland) , 

Aug. 13, 1814. 

MY DEAREST HARRIET, I write to you from this 
detestable town : I write to show that I do not forget 
you : I write to urge you to come to Switzerland, 
where you will at least find one firm and constant 
friend, to whom your interests will be always dear 
by whom your feelings will never wilfully be injured. 
From none can you expect this but me all else are 
unfeeling or selfish, or have beloved friends of their 
own as Mrs. B[oinville], to whom their attention and 
affection is confined. 

I will write at length from Neufchatel or you direct 
your letters " d'etre laisse a la Bureau de Poste Neuf- 
chatel " until you hear again. 

We have journeyed from Paris on foot with a mule 
to carry our baggage ; and Mary, who has not been 
sufficiently well to walk, fears the fatigue of walking. 

We passed through a fertile country, neither inter- 
esting from the character of its inhabitants nor the 
beauty of the scenery. We came 120 miles in four 
days ; the last two days we passed over the country 
that was the seat of war. I cannot describe to you 
the frightful desolation of this scene ; village after 
village entirely ruined and burned, the white ruins 
towering in innumerable forms of destruction among 
the beautiful trees. The inhabitants were famished ; 
families once independent now beg their bread in this 
wretched country ; no provisions ; no accommoda- 
tion ; filth, misery, and famine everywhere. (You 
will see nothing of this on your route to Geneva.) 


Shelley in England 

I must remark to you that, dreadful as the calamities 
are, I can scarcely pity the inhabitants ; they are the 
most unamiable, inhospitable, and unaccommodating 
of the human race. We go by some carriage from this 
town to Neufchatel, because I have strained my leg 
and am unable to walk. I hope to be recovered by 
that time ; but on our last day's journey I was per- 
fectly unable to walk. Mary resigned the mule to 
me. Our walk has been, excepting this, sufficiently 
agreeable ; we have met none of the robbers they 
prophesied at Paris. You shall hear our adventures 
more detailed if I do not hear at Neufchatel that I 
am soon to have the pleasure of communicating to 
you in person, and of welcoming you to some sweet 
retreat I will procure for you among the mountains. 

I have written to Peacock to superintend money 
affairs : he is expensive, inconsiderate, and cold, but 
surely not utterly perfidious and unfriendly and un- 
mindful of our kindness to him : besides, interest 
will secure his attention to these things. I wish you 
to bring with you the two deeds which Tahourdin has 
to prepare for you, as also a copy of the settlement. 
Do not part with any of your money. But what shall 
be done about the books ? You can consult on the 
spot. With love to my sweet little lanthe, ever most 
affectionately yours, g 

I write in great haste : we depart directly. 1 

This letter reveals the side of Shelley's character 
that enabled him to arrive at 'a decision without re- 
gard to conventions. His suggestion that Harriet 

1 From Dowden's Life of Shelley. 

The Death of Harriet 

should join him on his holiday with Mary and Clare 
would have been not only extraordinary but base, 
were it not clear that he was thoroughly sincere. 
Notwithstanding his conviction that Harriet had de- 
serted him, and that he could no longer be a husband 
to her, he believed he could still stand by her as her 
best friend, and one who was bound to continue to 
take an interest in her welfare. 

At the date of Shelley's visit to the Continent, 
France had all but seen the last of Napoleon, who had 
abdicated some two months earlier and withdrawn 
himself to exile at Elba, while Bourbon Louis XVIII 
reigned over a people exhausted by a twenty years' war. 
Shelley passed over ground that still bore the scars of 
battle and plunder, where, but a few months before, 
Napoleon's wearied legions had been in deadly conflict 
with the Prussians. It is unlikely that these scenes 
of desolation were ever effaced from Shelley's mind. 

At Troyes the mule was sold, an open carriage pur- 
chased for five napoleons, and a driver, who proved 
incompetent, was engaged. A week later they had 
reached Neufchatel. Here Shelley obtained a small 
sum of money, and with it he pressed on to the Lake 
of Lucerne, where he engaged two rooms in a chateau 
at Brunnen at a louis a month for six months. He 
was probably unable to take them for a shorter period, 
but they were only occupied for forty-eight hours, 


Shelley in England 

when the travellers decided to turn their faces towards 
England. It was Shelley's hope that, by taking ad- 
vantage of the Reuss and Rhine, he would be able to 
perform the journey entirely by water. Travelling 
through Germany and Holland, they made a brave 
attempt to carry out his plan, but they sometimes 
found it necessary to take a land conveyance. Arriving 
at length at Rotterdam, they sailed on September 8 for 
London, which they reached on September 13. 

From the day that Mary joined her lot with Shelley 
they kept a joint diary. From this journal, with the 
addition of some letters written home to Peacock, 
Mary compiled a little account of this journey and 
their later visit to the Continent, which was subse- 
quently published in 1817, with the title History of a 
Six Weeks Tour through a Part of France, Switzerland, 
Germany, and Holland. Shelley on his arrival in 
London was penniless, and not having the where- 
withal even to pay for his passage and meet other 
smaller charges, he drove at once to his bank, to find 
that all his funds had been drawn. Miss Clairmont 
stated that while abroad Shelley had instructed his 
banker to honour Harriet's calls for money as far as 
his funds allowed. Shelley applied to Harriet, who 
gave him a sum of twenty pounds, and who added 
" the reproaches of an injured wife." * 

1 Professor Dowden's Life of Shelley, vol. i. pp. 463-4. 


The Death of Harriet 

Shortly after Shelley and Mary arrived in London 
they engaged lodgings at 56 Margaret Street, Cavendish 
Square, and for the present Clare remained with them. 
Shelley took an early opportunity of writing to William 
Godwin, who replied that in future he would only 
receive communications through his solicitor. Gos- 
sipers had been busy, and it was whispered that 
Godwin had sold his own girl Mary, and his wife's 
daughter Clare Clairmont, to Shelley for 800 and 
700 respectively. That this was merely a rumour, 
and that Shelley, who, in eloping with Mary, had done 
no more than put Godwin's early anti-matrimonial 
teaching into practice, did not make the slander easier 
to bear. Godwin's philosophical calm for once was 
shaken, and, vital as Shelley's aid was to his existence, 
he was resolved to accept it, but with a gloved hand. 
Shelley did not display any resentment or bad feeling 
towards Godwin for his aloofness. He still regarded 
the author of Political Justice, and the father of his 
Mary, as the fountain-head of wisdom and truth, 
and he did not relax in his endeavours to serve 

Shelley's diary during these days shows that he 
was again reading, with many other books, Political 
Justice, and that visits were frequently paid to Harriet, 
and received from Hogg, Hookham, and almost daily 
from Peacock. Shelley spent much of his time in 


Shelley in England 

endeavouring to raise money for his own needs as well 
as for those of Godwin. But he found that money was 
very scarce, and he could not obtain any. As October 
dragged on, Shelley was again in danger of arrest 
at the instance of his creditors, and he had to leave 
his lodgings and go into hiding for fear of the bailiffs. 
Mary could only meet him furtively at odd places, 
such as Staple Inn or Bartlett's Buildings, a quiet 
cul de sac at the end of Skinner Street, off Snow Hill, 
or at St. Paul's Cathedral. They had been obliged to 
change their rooms more than once. One day, when 
they were living in the squalor of a St. Pancras lodging- 
house, the people demanded their money, and, on being 
disappointed, refused to send up the dinner to the 
hungry young people. Events now shaped them- 
selves so as to contribute thoroughly to Shelley's and 
Mary's misery. They had to endure dire poverty and 
dismal accounts of affairs at Skinner Street. Godwin, 
moreover, was irreconcilable, Mrs. Godwin slanderous, 
and Clare often moody, sullen, and in the way. Har- 
riet, so Shelley believed, was plotting with Hookham, 
from whom he had hopes of help in the way of bail 
from his creditors. These trials served, if anything, 
to draw Shelley and Mary together, and, as they could 
not always meet, they wrote to one another love- 
letters full of faith for the future. Mary, lonely, paid 
frequent visits to the tomb of her mother, Mary 


The Death of Harriet 

Wollstonecraft, at St. Pancras Churchyard, and one 
day she went there to read her father's Essay on 
Sepulchres. On Sundays Shelley, safe from his pur- 
suers, was able to return home, to his and Mary's de- 
light. November 6 was one of these happy occasions, 
and Mary wrote in the diary : " Talk to Shelley. He 
writes a heap of letters. Read part of St. Leon. Talk 
to him all the evening ; this is a day devoted to Love 
in idleness. Go to sleep early in the evening. Shelley 
goes away a little before 10." 

On December 6 Shelley heard that Harriet had 
given birth to a son. This intelligence was conveyed 
to him in a letter from Hookham, and also in one 
from Harriet herself, telling him that the child had 
been born a week. Mary noted in the diary on this 
date, with a touch of resentment : " Shelley writes a 
number of circular letters of this event, which ought 
to be ushered in with ringing of bells, &c., for it is the 
son of his wife " ; and she speaks of Harriet's letter, 
which was written as " from a deserted wife." On the 
following day Shelley called on Harriet, " who," said 
Mary, " treats him with insulting selfishness." 

Harriet told her Irish correspondent, Miss Nugent, 
on December n that she had " been confined a fort- 
night on Wednesday that is to say, on November 30. 
He is an eight months' child, and very like his un- 
fortunate father, who is more depraved than ever. . . . 


Shelley in England 

He is a very fine child for the time. I have seen his 
father : he came to see me as soon as he knew of the 
event : but as to his tenderness to me none remains. 
He said he was glad it was a boy, because he would 
make money cheaper. You see how that noble soul 
is debased. Money now, not philosophy, is the grand 
spring of his actions. Indeed, the pure and enlightened 
philosophy he once delighted in has flown. He is no 
longer that pure and good being he once was, nor can 
he ever retrieve himself." 

Shelley was, in legal phraseology, tenant in tail 
male in remainder expectant on the deaths of his 
grandfather and father. He had in 1814, on the occa- 
sion of the transaction with the Messrs. Nash, levied a 
fine without the concurrence of his grandfather or 
father. Such fine created what is termed a base fee, 
i.e. an estate which would continue so long as he had 
issue male. Shelley certainly was anxious to procure 
money, and much of his time, since his return from the 
Continent, had been occupied with lawyers and money- 
lenders ; he wanted money for Godwin, and to relieve 
his own necessities, which were so pressing that he 
had been living for many weeks in daily expectation 
of arrest for debt. He had applied through his soli- 
citor to Mr. Shelley for an increase in his allowance, 
and Mr. Whitton replied, on December 10, that " Mr. 
P. B. Shelley is well aware that his father has not the 


The Death of Harriet 

means ... of making to him a greater allowance 
than he now does." Shelley was in want of a sum of 
2000, of which he intended to devote 1200 to Godwin, 
and the rest he required for his own debts. Whitton 
discussed the question of effecting a re-settlement of 
the estates with Mr. Tim Shelley, or of obtaining for 
him in fee the estate under the will of John Shelley, 
the brother of Sir Bysshe. Neither of these sugges- 
tions could be put into practice without the concur- 
rence of Sir Bysshe, to whom it was inadvisable to 
write, as he was now very old, ailing, and indeed 
nearing his end. Mr. Shelley, whose object was to 
put a check on his son's transactions, learnt some days 
later that Bysshe had arranged for the sale of a post 
obit of 10,000 for a sum of 3000. 

Sir Bysshe died on January 5, 1815, and on the 
following day Whitton wrote to inform Amory, Shelley's 
then solicitor, of this event, and begged him to prevent 
" the young gentleman going to his father's at present 
. . . his presence will, as I understand, be most 
painful to Mrs. S." Shelley went off to Sussex on 
learning of his grandfather's death. He was accom- 
panied by Clare Clairmont ; perhaps Mary would 
have taken her place had she been well enough. On 
presenting himself at Field Place Bysshe was refused 
admittance by his father now Sir Timothy Shelley. 
Whereupon the poet seated himself on the doorstep 

449 2 F 

Shelley in England 

and read Comus out of Mary's copy of Milton. Pre- 
sently Dr. Blocksome came out of the house and told 
Bysshe that his father was very angry with him. 
He looked at the book in Bysshe's hands, and ob- 
served Mary's name in it. Bysshe learnt, perhaps 
from the doctor, that the will had been opened, and 
that he was referred to Whitton. 

Sir Bysshe was buried on Tuesday, January 18, in 
the family vault at Horsham, and, as the notice 
contributed by Whitton 1 to a Sussex newspaper 
says : " The corpse was followed by the present Sir 
Timothy Shelley, Bart., who hath succeeded to the 
family estates of the Shelley s and Mitchells [sic], and 
by John Shelley Sidney of Penshurst Place, Kent, 
Esqre., the deceased ['s] eldest son by his Second 
Marriage, and by Major Shelley, the third Son, and a 
numerous and respectable Tenant ry." His grandson 
Bysshe does not appear to have attended the funeral, 
as he returned to London on January 13 ; 2 there 
is, however, no entry printed from Mary's diary be- 
tween that date and January 24. Bysshe had some 
years previously told Miss Kitchener that he had no 

1 Who sent it to the editor with a two-pound note. 

2 Whitton wrote in his business diary on Jan. 13, 1815, the date of 
Shelley's return to London : "Attended Mr. P. B. Shelley on the death 
of his Grandfather and the result of his visit to Field Place, and I 
communicated generally the import of the Will and Codicils and promised 
that as soon as possible after the interment of Sir Bysshe he should 
receive all the information in my power to give him." 


The Death of Harriet 

intention of attending his grandfather's funeral when 
he should die. 1 

Sir Bysshe's residuary personal estate was sworn 
under 175,000. His daughter, Mrs. Aickin, who by 
her marriage with Captain Aickin is said to have dis- 
pleased Sir Bysshe, only received an annuity of 52, 
los. and a legacy of 100. Mr. John Shelley-Sidney, 
however, sympathising with his half-sister in her 
disappointment, arranged to pay her a yearly sum 
of 100. 

Sir Bysshe by his Will dated 28 Nov. 1805 (after 
reciting the Settlement of 20 August 1791) devised 
his real Estates to Trustees (Du Cane and Wm. Whit- 
ton) Upon trust to settle the same to the use of Timothy 
for life without power to commit waste with remainder 
To the use of Percy Bysshe Shelley for life with re- 
mainder To the use of the first and every other son 
of Percy Bysshe Shelley in tail male And in default 
of such male issue To the use of the second son of 
Timothy (who was John) for life with remainder To 
the use of the first and every son of John in tail male. 
And he also bequeathed one half of his Residuary 
personal Estate to his trustees upon trust to convert the 
same into money and to invest the proceeds in the pur- 
chase of Freehold or copyhold land in England and to 
settle the same To the uses declared by his Will of his 

1 See p. 15. 

Shelley in England 

real Estates thereby devised He directed that in the 
Settlement to be made as aforesaid there should be 
contained clauses for barring the Entail on the Estates 
comprised in the Settlement of 20 August 1791, and 
for resettling the same Estates To the uses declared 
by his own Will and that in case any person being 
Tenant for life or in tail in such Estates should refuse 
or neglect for one year to concur in barring the Entail, 
then the uses directed to be limited in the Estates 
devised by his Will to such person, should cease and 
become void and that such Estates should go to the 
next person in succession under the Will He also 
directed that in the Settlement to be made there should 
be contained provisoes for the person in possession 
to take the name and bear the Arms of Shelley and in 
default to forfeit his interest And he declared that his 
Trustees were not to lay out the residue of his Estate 
in the purchase of lands unless Consols were at 70 
He directed his remains to be decently buried either 
at Penshurst or Horsham, that was to say, at such of 
those places as he should be nearest unto at the time 
of his death. 

By a fifth Codicil to his Will dated 29 October 
iSn, 1 Sir Bysshe, after reciting the Settlement of 
30 April 1782, in effect directed that all persons who 

1 1811, the year of Shelley's expulsion from Oxford, his marriage to 
Harriet, and his quarrel with his father. 


The Death of Harriet 

should become entitled to an Estate for life or in tail 
in the Estates comprised in the Settlement of 1782 
should resettle such Estates or in default should for- 
feit all benefit under his Will. 

Similar conditions had been imposed by previous 
wills of the Shelleys, so that Sir Bysshe was following 
a precedent in his family. 

The Settlement of 1782 comprised the Michell 
Estates in Sussex which formerly belonged to Mary 
Catherine Michell (the first wife of Sir Bysshe), whilst the 
Settlement of 1791 comprised the Estates devised by the 
Will of Edward Shelley of Field Place, who died 1747-8, 
and resettled by Sir Bysshe and Timothy in 1791. 

But at the dates of the Will and Codicils of Sir Bysshe 
there were other Estates in Sussex of the annual value 
of 800 to which under the Will of John Shelley of 
Field Place, who died in 1790, his brother Sir Bysshe 
was entitled for life, with remainder to the latter's 
son Timothy for life, with remainder to Percy Bysshe 
in tail male. Apparently by some oversight Sir Bysshe 
did not by his Will or any Codicil make any provision 
for the resettling of this property. 

On January 20 Shelley received a copy of Sir Bysshe's 
will and codicils from Whitton, who stated that Sir 
Timothy was " ready to concur in all necessary acts 
for re-settling the estates comprised in the Settlements 
of 1782 and 1791 according to the directions " in his 


Shelley in England 

grandfather's will and codicils. Sir Timothy was 
anxious that Bysshe should be given time to consider 
whether he would take an interest under his grand- 
father's will by performing the necessary acts. 

Bysshe, however, refused to comply with the con- 
ditions of his grandfather's will, and by a Deed-Poll 
formally renounced all interest under such will, and 
he agreed to sell to his father his reversionary interest 
under the will of John Shelley in consideration of his 
father paying him the sum of 7400 and covenanting to 
pay him an annuity of 1000 during their joint lives. 1 

When this arrangement was complete, Shelley at 
once sent Harriet a sum of 200 wherewith to liquidate 
her debts, and gave instructions for his father's banker 
to pay her in quarterly instalments a sum of 200 a 
year. This amount, with a like sum which Mr. West- 
brook allowed his daughter, provided Harriet with 
an income of 400 per annum. 

Shelley was now in a position of comfort, and after 
the experience of many months in London lodgings 
he was able to leave town for Devonshire. In June 
he was at Torquay, and a month later, while he was 
looking for a suitable house, Mary was staying at 
Clifton. Mary had given birth in February to a seven- 
months' girl, who survived only a few days. The 

1 These transactions were carried out by three deeds, short abstracts 
of which will be found in the Appendix. 


The Death of Harriet 

loss of her baby and her impaired health had given 
Shelley some anxious weeks. This quiet sojourn, 
however, restored her, and by August she was settled 
with Shelley in a furnished house at Bishopgate, near 
the eastern entrance of Windsor Park, where they 
remained till the spring of 1816, and where, on January 
24 of that year, their son William was born. 

Peacock, who was living at Great Marlow, frequently 
walked over to Bishopgate to see Shelley, and at the 
end of August he, Shelley, Mary, and Charles Clair- 
mont made a ten days' excursion on the Thames from 
Windsor to Lechlade in Gloucestershire. They went 
a little higher, but did not get much beyond Ingles- 
ham on account of the water-weeds. Shelley wanted 
to go on, and to traverse various rivers and canals 
until they reached the Falls of the Clyde, a distance 
of two thousand miles ; but the idea was given up 
when it was ascertained that a sum of 20 would be 
required for the privilege of passing the Severn Canal. 
Clairmont, who wrote an account of the excursion in 
a letter to his sister Clare, tells us that they stayed at 
Oxford from seven in the evening till four o'clock the 
next afternoon. After seeing the Bodleian Library 
and the Clarendon Press, they visited, he said, " the 
very rooms where the two noted infidels, Shelley and 
Hogg (now, happily, excluded the society of the 
present residents), pored, with the incessant and un- 


Shelley in England 

wearied application of the alchymist, over the certified 
and natural boundaries of human knowledge." Clair- 
mont added : " We have all felt the good effects of 
this jaunt, but in Shelley the change is quite remark- 
able ; he has now the ruddy, healthy complexion of 
the autumn upon his countenance, and he is twice 
as fat as he used to be." 

The journal kept by Shelley and Mary has been lost 
from May 14, 1815, for a year onwards. It would no 
doubt have told us, what we now learn from the 
following letter, that Harriet had applied to Shelley 
for an allowance for the keep of the two children in 
addition to the sum which he had arranged to pay for 
her support. He refused to comply with this request, 
which probably aroused his misgivings that, as Harriet 
had found her income insufficient, the children may 
have gone on short commons. He therefore told her 
that he was willing nay, desirous of having lanthe 
with him, and that he would support and care for 
her. Harriet would not consent to part with her 
little girl, excusing herself on the ground of Shelley's 
religious principles, nor would she agree to be a party 
in a deed of separation. Shelley then declared that, 
unless she delivered up the child, he should withdraw 
his promised allowance for her maintenance. At this 
stage the Westbrooks meditated taking proceedings 
against Shelley in the courts for alimony on Harriet's 


The Death of Harriet 

account, and for a separate allowance for the chil- 
dren's support. Shelley's suggestion that his father 
should help to support the children apparently met 
with a refusal. 

W. Whitton to Sir Timothy Shelley 


30 Nov r . 1815. 

DEAR SIR TIMOTHY, I yesterday had a visit from 
Mr. Desse and Mr. Westbrook, who stated much of 
their treaty for a Settlement by Mr. P. B. Shelley for 
the maintenance of his children in addition to that 
made for his wife without effect, and that Mr. Shelley 
requested that his daughter should be delivered to 
him which the mother had refused to do, that they 
meditated proceedings in the Ecclesiastical Court for 
Alimony for the wife and in the Court of Chancery 
for maintenance for the children, in which proceedings 
the religious principles of Mr. Shelley would be stated 
as the ground or reason for refusing to give him the 
care of the children, and under such circumstances 
the visit to me was to enquire whether to prevent a 
publick statement of the situation of Mr. Shelley you 
would take on yourself the support, that is, to allow 
for the support of one of the children if Mr. Westbrook 
provided for the other, and if Mrs. Shelley should be 
content with the 200 a year. I told them that I 
would mention the subject to you, but I felt confident 
you would not interfere with Mr. Shelley farther than 
you had done in respect to any allowance. Indeed, I 
know that the plan proposed by them would not be 
satisfactory, because I have been informed by Mr. 


Shelley in England 

Longdill that as Mrs. Shelley's friends advise her not 
to enter into any deed of separation and not to give 
him the care of his daughter, it is his intention to with- 
draw the allowance of 200 a year which we had 
agreed to make for Mrs. Shelley, so that confusion will 
soon follow in their affairs and I fear that if you allow 
yourself to be mingled in the strife and to take the 
conduct that is suggested you will undergo continual 
anxiety and pain. It is not the money but the Com- 
pany in which you may be placed, and more, much 
more, may be expected from you should you do as 
is requested than would be pleasant to your feelings, 
and Mr. P. B. Shelley would consider you looking to 
his persecutors rather than to him, a situation that 
it is most desirable for you to avoid lest a great change 
should take place in his conduct and principles and 
he should be in a situation to receive your protection. 
You know what reply I am to give. 

It was mentioned to me yesterday that Mr. P. B. 
Shelley was exhibiting himself on the Windsor Stage 
in the Character of Shakespeare's plays under the 
figured name of Cooks. I believe that fact is so, and 
I know of no way correcting such a purpose and bring- 
ing himself and his conduct in life and principles 
before the publick than measures of communication 
with the principal of the Company, whose name, I 
believe, is Penley, and whom I know a little of from 
his visiting Camberwell parish annually with his com- 
pany. Can I do anything for you about this ? I 

Field Place, 

Horsham, Sussex. 


The Death of Harriet 

If Whitton is correct in his statement that Shelley 
had acted in Shakespeare's plays at the Windsor 
Theatre, it is strange that both Peacock and Hogg, 
who were much in his company at this time, have 
forborne to mention it. Had they heard of such an 
interesting episode in their friend's life, it is unlikely 
that they would have forgotten to describe him as 
an actor. Whitton, on the other hand, was not the 
sort of man to retail idle gossip, and it is possible that 
Shelley may have kept the matter to himself. Whit- 
ton, who at that date and for some years previously 
had resided at Camberwell on a small estate which 
he had purchased in 1812 from the well-known Dr. 
Lettsom, speaks with some knowledge of Penley, and 
he was no doubt sure of his facts. 1 

In his diary, under the date of December i, Whitton 
stated that he had had some conversation with Shelley's 
solicitor, Mr. Longdill, in regard to his client's appear- 
ance on the stage, as well as on the communication 
made to him by Mr. Westbrook and his solicitor, Mr. 
Desse. Whitton used his best endeavours to avert 
the meditated proceedings in the courts, and he sug- 
gested that the children should be placed in the care 

1 Blanche in his book Ye Parish of Camberwell, 1877, says: "The 
Peckham Theatre was at one time an institution in the Village, for the 
spirited Proprietor, Mr. Penley of Drury Lane notoriety, generally 
presented an attractive bill of fare, and residents of to-day speak in terms 
of high praise of the performers." 


Shelley in England 

of some person approved of by Desse and Longdill, 
and that Shelley should make a proper allowance for 
their support. " This subject," he said, " caused a 
general consideration of Mr. Shelley's situation, in 
particular his connection with the Theatre at Windsor, 
and Mr. Longdill urged that he might have communi- 
cation with Sir Timothy." Mr. Whitton continued 
his efforts to assist at an amicable settlement between 
Shelley and Harriet, and on February 15, 1816, he 
informed Sir Timothy that he had been negotiating 
to prevent hostilities between Mr. Desse and Mr. 

In 1815-16 the Trustees of the Will of Sir Bysshe 
(Peter Du Cane and William Whitton) filed a Bill in 
Chancery to have the Will and Codicils established 
and the trusts thereof carried into execution, and for 
an injunction to restrain Sir Timothy from cutting 
timber on the Estates comprised in the Settlements 
of 1782 and 1791, which timber was stated to be of 
the value of some thousands of pounds. (Shelley in 
his letter to Godwin, dated May 3, 1816, said the 
timber was worth 60,000.) The defendants were Sir 
Timothy Shelley, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Charles Bysshe 
Shelley (the infant son of Percy Bysshe), and others. 

It would appear that in those days it was necessary 
for an infant to attend personally in court for the pur- 
pose of having a guardian assigned to him to defend 


The Death of Harriet 

the suit and file an answer. There seems to have been 
considerable difficulty in getting Bysshe's infant child 
(then only sixteen months old) brought to the court, 
for on March 2, 1816, Whitton wrote to Desse : "I 
have not stated to you I have obtained the attachment 
and the Order for the Messenger to take the infant 
into Court, and you will feel that it is my duty to en- 
force this Order unless Mrs. Shelley will make it un- 
necessary by bringing the child into Court without 
further trouble." Possibly Harriet was apprehensive 
that Shelley might kidnap the child. 

The Order for attachment was as follows : 

March 2, 1816. Upon Motion this day made unto 
this Court by Mr. Blackburn of Counsel for the Plain- 
tiffs It was alleged that an Attachment hath issued 
against the defendant Charles Bysshe Shelley who is 
an infant for want of his Answer to the Plaintiffs' 
Bill. It is ordered that the Messenger attending this 
Court do apprehend the said defendant the infant and 
bring him to the Bar of this Court to have a guardian 
assigned him by whom he may answer the Plaintiffs' 
Bill and defend this suit. 

From a letter written by Whitton on March I2th to 
Teasdale (Nash's solicitor) it appears that the suit in 
question was not a hostile one. The real object of it 
appears to have been to get a decision as to whether 
Timothy could cut timber on the estates comprised 
in the settlements of 1782 and 1791, and whether 


Shelley in England 

Timothy could concur with his son in making any 
disposition of such estates without incurring a for- 
feiture of the life estate given to him (Timothy) by 
Sir Bysshe's will. 

The case was argued before Lord Eldon, the Lord 
Chancellor, and Whitton wrote, on April 23, 1816, 
to inform Sir Timothy that the Lord Chancellor had 
given his judgment, which was nearly in the terms 
which was anticipated would be the result that the 
Chancellor was most clearly of opinion that neither 
Bysshe nor his issue could take any interest under the 
will of Sir Bysshe, and that they were not entitled 
to prevent Sir Timothy from cutting the timber, or in 
any manner interested in the timber when cut. But 
as Sir Timothy's other son, John, might ultimately 
become tenant in tail in remainder on Sir Timothy's 
life, the money derived from the wood was to be 
invested. Sir Timothy, however, was to receive the 
interest. The Chancellor also held that Sir Timothy 
must retain his life estate, and do no act to prevent a 
re-settlement according to the will. ' ' Thus all arrange- 
ment with Mr. P. B. Shelley," said Whitton, "is made 
impracticable, and he is as I understand greatly dis- 
appointed at that part of the decision, for he has some 
very pressing occasions for money. He was in Court." 

Shelley's mental development advanced under the 
genial sympathy of Mary's influence ; she said that 


The Death of Harriet 

" he enjoyed several months of comparative health 
and tranquil happiness." His comparative freedom 
from money worries had enabled him to give his atten- 
tion once more to poetry, and, inspired by the scenery 
of Windsor Forest, he had written, probably by the 
end of 1815, his poem Alastor and the other pieces 
contained in the volume published under that title. 
Of this volume he printed at his own expense 250 
copies, and he sent a copy to John Murray on January 
16, 1816, asking him if he would publish . it. On 
Murray's declining the book, Shelley made arrange- 
ments for it to be issued jointly by Baldwin & Co. 
and Carpenter & Son, and announced to the last- 
named firm, in his letter of February 6th, that he ex- 
pected the volume would be ready for publication in 
the course of a few days. 

A copy of Alastor probably found its way to Field 
Place, for on February 27th Sir Timothy wrote to 
Whitton : " P. B. has published a Poem with some 
fragments, somewhat in his usual style, not altogether 
free from former sentiments, and wants to find out 
one person on earth the Prototype of himself." Sir 
Timothy was far from being the only unappreci- 
ative reader of this little book. Its merits failed 
to attract the attention either of the reviewers or 
the public, although these merits were sufficient to 
establish the author's reputation as a poet not 


Shelley in England 

unworthy to take his place with Wordsworth and 

An exception to the general neglect of Alastor is to 
be found in an article from the pen of Leigh Hunt 
that appeared in the Examiner for December i, 1816. 
Although it contained the briefest reference to the 
poem, and no criticism, it constituted, perhaps, in a 
few cordial lines, the first public recognition of Shelley's 
poetical gifts. Under the title of " Young Poets " Hunt 
spoke of the work of Shelley, John Hamilton Reynolds, 
and John Keats " three young writers, who appear 
to us to promise a considerable addition of strength 
to the new school. Of the first who came before us, 
we have, it is true, yet seen only one or two specimens, 
and these were no sooner sent us than we unfortunately 
mislaid them ; but we shall procure what he has 
published, and if the rest answer to what we have seen, 
we shall have no hesitation in announcing him a very 
striking and original thinker. His name is Percy 
Bysshe Shelley, and he is the author of a poetical 
work entitled Alastor, or the Spirit of Solitude.' 1 More 
space was devoted to the two other poets, and speci- 
mens of their work were quoted. 

In sending a copy of this little book to Southey, 
Shelley recalled the pleasure that he had derived from 
the conversation and the kindness he had received 
from the Lake poet. He pleaded as his excuse for 


The Death of Harriet 

having neglected to write, as he had promised, from 
Ireland, " the disappointment of some youthful 
hopes, and subsequent misfortunes of a heavier 

As soon as the Court of Chancery had decided the 
questions arising under Sir Bysshe's will, Shelley made 
preparations for a second visit to the Continent. He 
had spent some days in London lodgings at March- 
mont Street, and just before embarking for France he 
wrote, on May 3rd, from Dover, to William Godwin 
to inform him of the state of his concerns. After 
detailing certain matters concerning money, he spoke 
of his motives in leaving England, and adding a 
generous expression of regard for Godwin, said : 

" Continually detained in a situation where what I 
esteem a prejudice does not permit me to live on equal 
terms with my fellow-beings, I resolved to commit 
myself to a decided step. Therefore I take Mary to 
Geneva, where I shall devise some plan of settlement, 
and only leave her to return to London, and exclusively 
devote myself to business. I leave England, I know, 
not, perhaps, for ever. I return, alone, to see no 
friend, to do no office of friendship, to engage in no- 
thing that can soothe the sentiments of regret almost 
like remorse which, under such circumstances, every- 
one feels who quits his native land. I respect you, 
I think well of you, better perhaps than of any other 
person whom England contains ; you were the philo- 
sopher who first awakened, and who still as a philo- 

465 2 G 

Shelley in England 

sopher to a very great degree regulates my under- 
standing. It is unfortunate for me that the part of 
your character which is least excellent should have 
been met by my convictions of what was right to do. 
But I have been too indignant, I have been unjust to 
you forgive me ; burn those letters which contain 
the records of my violence, and believe me that, 
however what you erroneously call fame and honour 
separate us, I shall always feel towards you as the 
most affectionate of friends." 

Godwin had maintained his unfriendly attitude 
towards Shelley since Mary's elopement, but he was 
not only willing, but desirous, that Shelley should 
raise money for him at exorbitant rates on his ex- 
pectations. Shelley's frequent letters to him at this 
time, which were entirely restricted to the business 
of rinding money for him, were written in a stiff, 
formal style such as one might adopt in writing to 
a stranger, but there is nothing in them to which 
exception could be taken. Godwin refused to accept 
Shelley's plea for a reconciliation, and their corre- 
spondence continued in the same cold strain. 

Shelley and Mary took with them their little boy, 
William, and Clare Clairmont. They reached Paris 
by May 8th, and then went over the same route that 
they had traversed on foot in 1814, through Troyes 
and as far as NeufcMtel. Here another road was 
taken, through Dijon, Dole, Poligny, Champagnolles, 


The Death of Harriet 

Les Rousses to Geneva, where they put up at the 
Hotel de Secheron. At the end of May they moved 
from the hotel to a cottage the Champagne Chapuis, 
or Champagne Monte Alegre some two miles from 
Geneva, on the border of the Lake, and separated from 
the water's edge by a small garden. Byron had arrived 
at Geneva on May 25th, about ten days after Shelley, 
having left England for the last time on April 25th. 
He found the attentions of the British tourists so dis- 
tasteful that he soon moved to the Villa Diodati, near 
where Shelley was living. The two poets met for the 
first time on May 27th. Shelley had sent a copy of 
Queen Mob, with a letter, to Byron, who received the 
book without the letter, and expressed warm admiration 
for the opening lines of the poem. 

Shelley had departed from England without in- 
forming Whitton. He wrote, however, towards the end 
of May, to Longdill requesting him to suggest through 
Whitton that his father should increase his income by 
500 a year. Mr. Whitton wrote on May 30th to in- 
form Sir Timothy of this suggestion, and said : " It is 
scarcely to be believed that a young man could be so 
inconsiderate." Whitton, who thought Shelley's " de- 
parture without the least intimation very wrong," 
told Sir Timothy he had informed Longdill that he 
" thought the proposal would justify and in all "prob- 
ability would induce you to say that you would not 


Shelley in England 

mingle yourself with him in any manner, as it is most 
evident no liberality on your part can or will influence 
him to a conduct consistent with his rank in life." 
The two lawyers agreed that a loan of 2000, which 
Sir Timothy had promised Bysshe, should stand 
over till he returned to England. Shelley probably 
wanted his allowance increased for the support of his 
two children by Harriet, but he was given to under- 
stand that he need not expect Sir Timothy would 
augment his allowance, so Shelley now wrote, through 
Longdill, with regard to the promised loan, requesting 
that any deeds necessary to be executed might be sent 
to him by a special messenger on account of the length 
of the journey. He also said that his health was 
receiving great benefit from the climate. Whitton, in 
conveying this information to Sir Timothy, remarked : 
" I cannot learn that Mr. Shelley hath or that he pro- 
poses to make any arrangement or allowance for the 
support or care of his children, and I do not think it 
desirable for you to involve yourself with securities 
for or from him, and the rather as the expenses will 
be considerable, and he may by and by think proper 
to make observations that would give pain to those 
who wished to serve him." 

Whitton wrote to Longdill stating that Sir Timothy 
refused to send the deeds to Switzerland for execu- 
tion, and that he declined to receive from Shelley any 


The Death of Harriet 

security or to enter into any pecuniary account during 
his absence. He added that Sir Timothy had expected 
his son "would have made out of his present means a 
suitable provision for the support of his children and 
not have quitted the country as he hath been informed 
without making any such provision." 1 

On August i6th Whitton again wrote to Sir Timothy, 
enclosing a copy of a letter which he had received from 
Shelley. The letter is not forthcoming, but in sending 
the copy, Whitton wrote regarding it : "The laboured 
civility and pretence of return on account of the 400 
is too apparent when you recollect the contents of my 
letter to you." This amount was the half-yearly in- 
stalment of Shelley's allowance, which no doubt he 
thought might be suspended if he delayed his return. 
On August 29th, Shelley, Mary, Clare, and William 
departed from Geneva, and arrived at Versailles on 
September 2nd. After visiting the Palace and gardens 
they made their way without touching Paris to Havre, 
and from thence they crossed to Portsmouth, reaching 
that place on September 7th. Here they parted, Shelley 
going to London, and afterwards to Marlow on a visit 
to Peacock, while Mary, Clare, William, and the Swiss 
nurse Elise went to Bath. On September i6th, Whitton 

1 Mary wrote in her diary on August 2nd, two days before Shelley's 
twenty-fourth birthday, that he received on that date a letter from 
Longdill requiring his return to England: "This put us in very bad 


Shelley in England 

announced to Sir Timothy Shelley's return, saying that 
he had been in town for a few days. 

On September 24, 1816, in consideration of the 
Transfer by Richard Whitton into the name of the 
poet of 3500 3 per cent. Consolidated Bank Annuities, 
Shelley mortgaged to Richard Whitton his rever- 
sionary interests in the estates comprised in the 
Settlements of 1782 and 1791. Richard Whitton was 
a son of William Whitton, and his name was inserted 
in such mortgage as Trustee for Sir Timothy, to whom 
the sum of stock in fact belonged. The Transfer of 
this stock appears to have been substituted for the 
suggested loan of 2000. Shelley at this date (Sep. 
24) was much pressed for money, and it would seem 
that Whitton advanced him 1700 pending the sale 
of the stock. In granting the loan, Sir Timothy made 
an indispensable condition that Shelley should pay all 
his debts. This arrangement therefore rendered it 
impossible for him to supply Godwin with a sum of 
300 which he had promised him, but he sent, as he 
said, " within a few pounds, the wrecks of my late 
negotiation with my father." * 

On the same day (Sep. 24) Shelley made a will whereby 
he bequeathed to his trustees, Lord Byron and Thomas 
Love Peacock, a sum of 6000 upon trust that they 
should, during the life of his wife, Harriet Shelley, pay 

1 Shelley to Godwin, Bath, October 2, 1816. 

The Death of Harriet 

the same to Harriet, to the intent that the same might 
be for her separate use, independently of any husband 
with whom she might intermarry after his decease. 
He bequeathed to his executors, Lord Byron and 
Thomas Love Peacock, 5000 in trust for his son, 
Charles Bysshe Shelley, to vest and to be paid on his 
attaining the age of twenty-one. He bequeathed to 
his trustees 5000 in trust for his daughter, lanthe 
Shelley, to vest and be paid on her attaining twenty- 
one. He bequeathed to Mary Jane Clairmont (sister- 
in-law of his residuary legatee) 6000, and he also 
bequeathed unto his trustees the sum of 6000 upon 
trust to invest the same in the purchase of an annuity 
for the life of the said Mary Jane Clairmont and the 
life of such other person as the said Mary Jane Clair- 
mont should name (if she should be pleased to name 
one), and to pay the said annuity to the said Mary 
Jane Clairmont during her life, and after her death to 
pay the said annuity, in case the same should not 
have run out, to such person as the said Mary Jane 
Clairmont should by her will appoint. To Thomas 
Jefferson Hogg of the Inner Temple he bequeathed 
2000, and a similar sum to Lord Byron. To T. L. 
Peacock he gave 500, and to his trustees he be- 
queathed 2000 upon trust to invest the same in the 
purchase of an annuity for the life of the said 
T. L. Peacock, and the life of such other person 


Shelley in England 

as he should name (if he should be pleased to 
name one), upon trust for the exclusive benefit 
of the said Thomas Love Peacock in the like 
manner before directed as to the before-mentioned 
annuity and for his appointees after his death. The 
residue of his real and personal estate he devised 
and bequeathed unto Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, of 
Skinner Street in the City of London, spinster. He 
declared that the provision made for his said wife 
Harriet Shelley should be accepted by her in lieu and 
satisfaction of all dower which she might be entitled 
to out of his real estate. He also declared that the 
legacies therein before given should not be paid until 
the said Mary W. Godwin should be in possession of 
his real estate devised to her, and not for four years 
thereafter, if during such period of four years she 
should duly pay interest on the said legacies at the 
rate of 4 per cent, per annum. And he appointed 
Lord Byron and Peacock his executors. 

After Harriet's death, Shelley, on February 18, 1817, 
executed another will. The sums bequeathed in trust 
to his executors Byron and Peacock for his children 
Charles Bysshe and lanthe were increased to 6000 
each, and a similar sum was bequeathed in trust for 
the benefit of his son William. The residue of his 
estate was left to his wife. The other bequests, in- 
cluding the bequests of the two sums of 6000 in favour 


The Death of Harriet 

of Miss Clairmont, are the same as in the first will. 
It has been suggested, in some quarters, that the 
second sum of 6000 to Miss Clairmont was left to her 
"by an error in drawing up the document," but 
there does not seem to be the slightest foundation for 
this suggestion. 

Having executed his first will Shelley rejoined Mary at 
Bath, but shortly after his return, he and Mary received 
a crushing blow by the death of Fanny Godwin under 
distressing circumstances. After Mary's departure 
with Shelley from the Godwin household, Fanny's life 
had become unendurable owing to Mrs. Godwin's un- 
governable temper and malicious tongue. Godwin, 
who loved the girl as if she had been his own daughter, 
was so incessantly occupied with his literary work that 
he was probably not able to spare her much of his 
time ; she was consequently at Mrs. Godwin's mercy, as 
Clare was seldom at home. Early in October Fanny had 
suddenly left home, and had travelled through Bath 
and Bristol to Swansea, ostensibly with the intention 
of visiting an aunt in Ireland. She did not stop at 
Bath to see the Shelleys, but she wrote to Mary from 
Bristol a letter full of such ominous hints that Shelley 
in alarm immediately set out for that town. He re- 
turned, however, to Bath without obtaining any tidings 
of her, and again went to Bristol on October loth, but 
it was not until two days later that he brought Mary 


Shelley in England 

the news of her unhappy sister's death. On Fanny's 
arrival at the Mackworth Arms Inn, Swansea, on the 
night of October gth, she had retired to rest, and she was 
found the next morning lying dead with a laudanum 
bottle beside her. Shelley's grief at Fanny's death was 
deep and lasting. He remained at Bath until December 
6th, when he came up to town on a visit to Leigh Hunt 
at Hampstead. After spending a few enjoyable days 
with his newly-made friend, he went to see Peacock at 
Marlow, where he succeeded in finding a house in which 
some weeks later he settled. 

On December I4th, Shelley went back to Bath ; he 
had barely recovered from the shock of Fanny's death, 
and on the day after his return he received the following 
letter from Hookham, conveying the news that Harriet 
was dead : 

T. Hookham, junr., to P. B. Shelley 1 

Dec. 13, 1816. 

MY DEAR SIR, It is nearly a month since I had 
the pleasure of receiving a letter from you, and you 
have no doubt felt surprised that I did not reply to it 
sooner. It was my intention to do so, but on enquiry I 
found the utmost difficulty in obtaining the information 
you desire relative to Mrs. Shelley and your children. 

1 This letter is from Dowden's Life of Shelley, vol. ii. p. 67. 


The Death of Harriet 

While I was yet endeavouring to discover Mrs. 
Shelley's address, information was brought to me that 
she was dead that she had destroyed herself. You 
will believe that I did not credit the report. I called 
at the house of a friend of Mr. Westbrook ; my doubt 
led to conviction. I was informed she was taken from 
the Serpentine river on Tuesday last . . . l Little or 
no information was laid before the jury which sat. on 
the body. She was called Harriet Smith, and the 
verdict was found drowned.' 2 ' 

Your children are well, and are both, I believe, in 

This shocking communication must stand single and 
alone in the letter which I now address you : I have 
no inclination to fill it with subjects comparatively 
trifling : you will judge of my feelings and excuse the 
brevity of this communication. Yours very truly, 


There is apparently nothing to show that Shelley had 
seen Harriet since his return to England, but he was in 
touch with her during his absence abroad, if not per- 
sonajly, through his solicitor and through Peacock, who 
had attempted to arrange her affairs. Shelley had, 
moreover, made a provision for her in his will. As 
Hookham's letter shows, early in November Shelley 
had written to him asking for information of Harriet 

1 Professor Dowden states that the words omitted here have no refer- 
ence to Shelley. 

a The verdict in fact was " Found Dead." 


Shelley in England 

and the children. Hookham, however, had failed to 
obtain any tidings of her, as she apparently had left 
her father's house, and about the gth of September, 
that is, two days after Shelley's return from the Con- 
tinent, she had taken lodgings at 7 Elizabeth Street, 
Hans Place, Chelsea. On November gth she left the 
lodgings never to return, and on December loth her 
body was taken out of the Serpentine. 

The veil that for so many years obscured the last 
days of Harriet Shelley has been partially lifted by the 
recent discovery, through the diligence of Mr. Charles 
Withall, of the official papers relating to the coroner's 
inquest on her body. 1 The inquest was held by John 
Henry Cell, the Coroner, at the house of Thomas 
Phillips, known by the sign of the Fox, Knightsbridge, 
on Wednesday, December n, 1816, Harriet Shelley's 
name being given as that of Harriet Smith. This inn, 
which seems to have been called the Fox and Bull, for- 
merly stood west of what is now known as Albert Gate, 
and was for many years the receiving house of the Royal 
Humane Society. There was an old wooden gate at the 
back, opening into Hyde Park, and it was through 
this gate that the bodies of persons drowned in the 
Serpentine were conveyed. It was said that Harriet 
was known to the landlord's daughter, Miss Mary Ann 
Phillips, and for that reason her remains were treated 

1 See Appendix for copies of the original documents. 

The Death of Harriet 

with especial tenderness, and spared the degrading 
burial " then awarded to the suicide." l 

About September gth, Harriet, accompanied by a 
Mr. Alder, had taken the second floor in the house of 
Mrs. Jane Thomas, a widow, at 7 Elizabeth Street, 
Hans Place, Chelsea. 2 Harriet stated that she was 
married and that her husband was abroad. She en- 
gaged the rooms from month to month, and had been 
with Mrs. Thomas about nine weeks on November gth, 
and on the Thursday preceding that date, she paid her 
month's rent. Mrs. Thomas stated that Harriet ap- 
peared to be enceinte, and that while she lived with 
her she was very gloomy. Mary Jones, Mrs. Thomas's 
servant, spoke of Harriet's continual lowness of spirits, 
that she said very little and chiefly spent her time in 
bed ; that she saw nothing but what was proper in her 
conduct. That on Saturday, November gth, after having 
breakfasted, Harriet told Mary Jones that she wished 
to dine early, consequently the meal was prepared for 
her by about four o'clock ; that she was not, however, 
occupied with it more than ten minutes. The maid 
observed that on going into her room at five o'clock 
Harriet was not there. She had gone out without taking 
leave of anyone, and was not seen again. 

1 Davis' Memorials of Knightsbridge, 1859. I am indebted to 
Mr. Walter H. Whitear of Chiswick for this interesting reference. 

2 In a deed among the Shelley- Whitton papers dated May I, 1815, 
Shelley is described as of Hans Place, Chelsea. 


Shelley in England 

William Alder, a plumber, who lodged at the Fox 
public-house, stated that he knew the deceased. It 
was he who had accompanied her when she took the 
apartments at Elizabeth Street. He appears to have 
been in her confidence, for he knew she was about 
twenty-one years of age, had been married about five 
years, and was living apart from her husband. Alder 
also stated, as he was informed, that Harriet had been 
missing from her house upwards of a month ; that 
at the request of her parents, after she had been absent 
about a week, he dragged the Serpentine and all the 
other ponds near thereto without any result. Alder, 
like other witnesses, noticed that Harriet had for some 
time laboured under lowness of spirits, which, he said, 
he " had observed for several months before," and he 
" conceived that something lay heavy on her mind." 
On hearing that a body had been found, Alder went 
to look at it, and recognised it as the missing woman. 
The body was discovered by John Levesley of 38 
Dannings Alley, Bishopsgate Street Within, an out- 
pensioner of Chelsea Hospital. About ten o'clock on 
Tuesday morning, December loth, as he was walking 
by the side of the Serpentine on his way to Kensington, 
he noticed something floating in the water, which he 
conceived was a human body. He therefore called 
to a boy on the opposite side of the water to bring over 
his boat, which he did after some time, to the side on 


The Death of Harriet 

which Levesley stood, whereupon he got into the boat 
and found that the floating object was the dead body 
of a woman ; he had no doubt that it must have lain 
in the water for some days. 

As there were no marks of violence on the body, and 
there was an absence of evidence how or by what 
means the deceased met her death, a verdict was re- 
turned of " Found dead in the Serpentine River." 

The Times of December 12, 1816, the day after the 
inquest, contains the following : 

" On Tuesday [December loth] a respectable female 
far advanced in pregnancy was taken out of the 
Serpentine River and brought home to her residence 
in Queen Street, Brompton, having been missed for 
nearly six weeks. She had a valuable ring on her 
finger. A want of honour in her own conduct is sup- 
posed to have led to this fatal catastrophe, her husband 
being abroad." 

The reference to Harriet's condition in this state- 
ment is not borne out by the evidence given at the 
inquest, the only allusion being that of her landlady, 
whose words were : " She appeared in the family 
way." From Alder's evidence it is clear that the 
family were acquainted with Harriet's whereabouts 
after she had left Chapel Street, but it does not appear 
whether she had kept them informed of her address 
or how they became aware of it. Harriet was evi 


Shelley in England 

dently known by the name of Smith at her lodgings, 
as she was so described at the inquest. If the West- 
brooks knew of her death before the inquest, they 
refrained from disclosing her real name, apparently 
in order to conceal her identity. Harriet's death 
could hardly have taken place immediately after she 
left her lodgings, otherwise her body would scarcely 
have been recognisable, after being in the water for 
a month. Where was she living in the meantime ? 

In an unpublished passage contained in a letter 
written by Shelley to Mary after the inquest, he said 
that Harriet had been driven from her father's house 
by the persecution of her sister, who wished to secure 
Mr. Westbrook's fortune for herself, and that Harriet, 
having lived with a groom of the name of Smith, had 
been deserted by him. 1 If Shelley believed that 
Harriet had been living with another man, it is more 
than probable that he concluded that the man's name 
was Smith. 

Perhaps the explanation of her adopting the name 
of Smith may be gathered from the following entries 

1 It is significant that Thornton Hunt, in his article "Shelley ; by one 
who knew him," Atlantic Monthly, Feb. 1863, wrote : " If she left him " 
[meaning, I suppose, if Harriet was the first to break her union with 
Shelley, as she undoubtedly was, when she went off to Bath with her 
little girl in July 1814], "it would appear that she herself was deserted 
in turn by a man in a very humble grade of life ; and it was in conse- 
quence of this desertion that she killed herself." Mr. Swinburne in his 
article on Shelley in Chamber s's Cyclopedia of English Literature, 1903, 
vol. iii. p. 107, refers to Harriet as "the wife who had deserted" Shelley. 


The Death of Harriet 

under the year 1816 in the register of burials in the 
parish of Padding ton : 





By whom 
the Ceremony 

Benjamin Smith. 

Mount Street, 
St. George's, 
Hanover Square 

December 1 1 


Jos. Pickering, 

Harriett Smith. 

Mount Street, 
St. George's, 
Hanover Square 

December 13 


Jos. Pickering. 

That the second of these entries relates to Harriet 
Shelley there can be but little doubt. She was accus- 
tomed at times to spell her name with the double t, 1 
she was twenty-one at the date of her death, and 
Mount Street was close to her father's residence and 
in the neighbourhood of The Mount coffee-house, 
where he had made his fortune. Perhaps Benjamin 
Smith, who is described as a shopkeeper or painter 
and glazier of 61 Mount Street, 2 was an old acquaint- 

1 She was christened " Harriet," but Shelley in his letter to Medwin, 
October 21, 1811, wrote: "The maiden name is Harriett Westbrook, 
with two t's Harriett." 

a In Johnstone's Commercial Directory corrected to August 31, 1817, 
the name of Benjamin Smith does not appear. In Johnstone's Triennial 
Directory for 1817, 1 8 18, 1819, and again for 1822, 1823, 1824, the name 
of Benjamin Smith of Mount Street, Shopkeeper, appears, but the 
number of the house is not there stated. Perhaps Smith's business was 
carried on after his death, his name being retained. 

481 2 H 

Shelley in England 

ance of the Westbrooks, and he may have received her 
into his family after she had left her lodgings. It is in- 
conceivable, if the relations between Harriet and Smith 
had been such as Shelley believed, that she should 
have gone to live practically next door to her father's 
house. Benjamin Smith, moreover, was thirty-three 
years Harriet's senior, and she was not destitute. 

Harriet Shelley's place of burial has not hitherto 
been revealed. Mr. Whitton's successor, Mr. Gregson, 
according to his diary for 1856, was unable to ascer- 
tain where she was interred, although inquiries were 
made of Hookham and Miss Clairmont. The follow- 
ing reference, however (which had evidently escaped 
the notice of Mr. Gregson), contained in a letter, 
dated July 8, 1823, from Mr. Powell (the solicitor to 
Shelley's executors) to Mr. Whitton, "Mrs. Shelley 
was buried, I understand, at Paddington," led to a 
search being made there recently in the name of 
Harriet Smith. The place of burial of a person living 
at Hans Place would have been at St. Luke's, Chelsea, 
and at Mount Street, in the parish of St. George, 
Hanover Square, in the burial-ground at the back of 
Mount Street. It was not unusual for persons to be 
buried outside their parishes, and perhaps the West- 
brooks may have wished that Hairiet's funeral should 
not take place in the burial-ground so near to their 


The Death of Harriet 

On making inquiries at Paddington, Mr. Charles 
Withall was informed that, when it was proposed to 
convert the churchyard into a recreation ground, the 
local authorities had a plan made showing the position 
of the various graves, and they kept a record of such 
inscriptions as were decipherable on the tombstones. 
In this record there is no entry of " Harriett Smith," 
but there is an entry of a flat stone, bearing the 
name HARRIETT, the remainder of the inscription 
being entirely obliterated. The position of this grave 
is in the north portion of the churchyard on the east 
side, and second from the grave, in a northerly direc- 
tion, of a person of the name of Holloway, whose 
gravestone is still visible. On converting the church- 
yard the representatives of Holloway claimed to 
retain the stone of his grave in situ ; the unclaimed 
tombstones (and Harriet's was one of these) were 
buried three feet below their original positions. The 
register of graves belonging to the church is missing. 

The idea of suicide with Harriet must have been an 
obsession : she had contemplated it since her school- 
days as a solution to her troubles, and later she seems 
to have discussed it as a means of escape from the 
weariness of life. In a letter from Shelley to Miss 
Kitchener, written in October 1811, when referring to 
the causes that led to his marriage with Harriet, he 
said : " Suicide was with her a favourite theme." 


Shelley in England 

Hogg also especially noticed how her mind continually 
ran on self-destruction. It is not surprising, then, in 
the circumstances in which she found herself during 
the early days of December 1816, that she should 
have taken her life. The Serpentine would have been 
familiar to her owing to its proximity to her lodgings 
at Chelsea. 

Shelley went to London on the same day that the 
news of Harriet's death reached him, to claim his chil- 
dren, who were in the keeping of the Westbrooks. He 
wrote to Mary on the following day, saying that he 
had " spent a day of somewhat agonizing sensations, 
such as the contemplation of vice and folly and hard- 
heartedness, exceeding all conception, must produce. 
Leigh Hunt has been with me all day, and his delicate 
attentions to me, his kind speeches of you, have sus- 
tained me against the weight of the horror of this 
event. ... It is through you that I can entertain 
without despair the recollections of the horrors of 
unutterable villany that led to this dark, dreadful 
death." Shelley's allusion to hard-heart edness was 
evidently directed to Eliza Westbrook. 

Leigh Hunt, who should have been in a position to 
speak of the effect of Harriet's death on Shelley, said 
that " it was a heavy blow to him, and he never for- 
got it. For a time, it tore his being to pieces : nor 
is there any doubt that, however deeply he was accus- 


The Death of Harriet 

tomed to reason on the nature and causes of evil, 
and on the steps necessary to be taken for opposing 
it, he was not without remorse for having no better 
exercised his judgment with regard to the degree of 
intellect he had allied himself with and for having 
given rise to a premature independence of conduct 
in one unequal to the task." In other words, Shelley 
admitted that, in having married Harriet, he had made 
a grave mistake, and a mistake, moreover, which 
proved to be the source of tragedy and endless mis- 

Shelley did not regard himself as responsible for his 
wife's tragic end. In writing to Southey some years 
later, who had called him to account for this tragedy, 
he said : "I take God to witness, if such a Being is 
now regarding both you and me, and I pledge myself, 
if we meet, as perhaps you expect, before Him after 
death, to repeat the same in His presence that you 
accuse me wrongfully. I am innocent of ill, either 
done or intended ; the consequences you allude to 
flowed in no respect from me. If you were my friend 
I could tell you a history that would make you open 
your eyes ; but I shall certainly never make the public 
my familiar confidant." l Shelley had made for Harriet 
a provision which, with the allowance from her father, 
amounted to 400 per annum. Even if she had not 

1 Shelley to R. Southey, August 20, 1820. 


Shelley in England 

lived with her two children at Mr. Westbrook's house, 
this sum should have been adequate. Shelley was 
told by Godwin in January 1817 that he had evidence 
of Harriet's unfaithfulness to him four months before 
he eloped with Mary Godwin, but one ought not to 
place much reliance on Godwin's testimony, as he 
was an interested witness. Harriet had her advocates 
in Peacock, Hookham, and Thornton Hunt. All be- 
lieved that she was not unfaithful to Shelley before 
he eloped with Mary Godwin, and they have as much 
right to be heard as Godwin. 1 In la-ter years many 
have pleaded Harriet's cause, but none with such 
simple eloquence as Mr. William Watson in his 
couplets : 

" A star looked down from heaven and loved a flower 
Grown in earth's garden loved it for an hour : 
Let eyes which trace his orbit in the spheres 
Refuse not, to a ruined rosebud, tears." 

1 Trelawny in his Records of Shelley, Byron and the Author, 1878, 
vol. i. p. 15, wrote: "I was assured by the evidence of the few friends 
who knew both Shelley and his wife Hookham, who kept the great 
library in Bond Street, Jefferson Hogg, Peacock, and one of the Godwins 
that Harriet was perfectly innocent of all offence.' 



Shelley's second marriage The Chancery case Guardians for the 
children Charles Bysshe Shelley goes to school His death lanthe 
Shelley John Westbrook's death and will Shelley's life at Marlow 
Laon and Cythna Clare Clairmont Godwin's debts Shelley 
arrested for debt "The Hermit of Marlow" pamphlets The 
Shelleys depart from Marlow Christening the children Leave- 
taking in London. 

SHELLEY not only failed to obtain possession of his 
children, but he anticipated the possibility of the 
Westbrooks contesting his claim for them. He wrote 1 
to Mary:- "If they should dare to bring it before 
Chancery, a scene of such fearful horror would be 
unfolded as would cover them with scorn and shame." 
Shelley was told by his solicitor that all pretence to 
detain the children would cease in the event of his 
marriage to Mary Godwin, but the marriage was 
hastened by other causes. 

Notwithstanding that Godwin had formerly ex- 
pressed an abhorrence of marriage vows, he had him- 
self married Mary Wollstonecraft, and after her death 
he had gone through the ceremony, for a second time, 
with Mrs. Clairmont. He did not disguise his desire 

1 Shelley to Mary, Dec. 16, 1816. 


Shelley in England 

that his daughter Mary should marry Shelley, now 
that he was free, and he wished that the ceremony 
should take place without delay. Mary acquiesced, 
realising that until she was married she could not 
hope for, what she earnestly desired, a reconciliation 
with her father. Clare Clairmont stated that the 
question whether the marriage of Shelley should take 
place at once or be delayed was put before Sir Lumley 
Skemngton, to whom, without mentioning any names, 
the circumstances were explained. Sir Lumley, who 
advised them to marry at once, had enjoyed, at one 
time, notoriety as a leader of fashion, but his advice 
was sought, perhaps, because he was both a man of 
the world and a man of honour. 

The marriage, therefore, was hurried on, and it took 
place on December 30 th by licence l at St. Mildred's 
Church, Bread Street, a London street which is also 
identified with England's other great republican poet, 
Milton, who was born there in 1608. The morning 
of the day before the ceremony was spent by Shelley 
and Mary at the Hunts', and the evening was passed 
by them, ' not unpleasantly," at Skinner Street with 
the Godwins. The Godwins' hospitality to the bridal 
pair included breakfast before they started for the 
church, also dinner and supper after their return. 
Godwin was undoubtedly gratified by the marriage, 

1 A copy of the licence will be found in the Appendix. 
4 88 


and he recorded the event in his diary with something 
less than even his accustomed brevity : " Call at 
Mildred w[ith] P. B. S., M. W. G., and M. J." 
The following is the entry in the church register : 

Percy Bysshe Shelley, of the Parish of Saint Mildred 
Bread Street London Widower and Mary Wollstone- 
craft Godwin of the City of Bath Spinster a Minor, 
were married in this Church by Licence, with the 
consent of William Godwin her Father this Thirtieth 
Day of December in the Year One thousand eight 
hundred and Sixteen. 

By me Wm. Hey don, Curate. 

_..,,. . , r Percy Bysshe Shelley. 

This Marriage was solemmzed I * Wollstonecraft 

1 Godwin. 

In the Presence of {William Godwin. 
( M. J . Godwin. 

After the ceremony Shelley wrote to Clare, who was 
at Bath, saying that he should return to that place 
with Mary on January i, 1817. He told her that " The 
Ceremony, so magical, was undergone this morning at 
St. Mildred's church in the City. Mrs. G. and G. were 
both present, and appeared to feel no little satisfac- 
tion. Indeed Godwin throughout has shown the most 
polished and courteous attentions to me and Mary. 
He seems to think no kindness too great in compensa- 
tion for what has passed. I confess I am not entirely 


Shelley in England 

deceived by this, though I cannot make my vanity 
wholly insensible to certain attentions paid in a manner 
studiously flattering. Mrs. G. presents herself to me 
in her real attributes of affectation, prejudice, and 
heartless pride. Towards her, I confess I never feel 
an emotion of anything but antipathy. Her sweet 
daughter [that is, Clare] is very dear to me." 

Shelley had now made repeated demands to the 
Westbrooks for his children, without avail. The 
result of these applications was that the Westbrooks 
at once took steps to make the children wards of 
Court. As a preliminary step, on January 2, 1817, 
John Westbrook executed a settlement of 2000 four 
per cent, annuities in favour of Harriet's children, 
Eliza lanthe and Charles Bysshe. The parties to the 
settlement were John Westbrook of the first part, 
the infant children of the second part, and Elizabeth 
Westbrook and John Higham of Grosvenor Street of 
the third part. 

On January loth the infants, by John Westbrook 
(their next friend), filed a Bill in Chancery against 
Elizabeth Westbrook and John Higham (the trustees 
of the settlement), Percy Bysshe Shelley (their father), 
Sir Timothy Shelley (their paternal grandfather), 
and John Westbrook (their maternal grandfather), 
praying that the Court might appoint John West- 
brook and Eliza Westbrook, or some other proper 



persons, to act as their guardians, and that their father 
might be restrained from taking possession of their 
persons. 1 

Mr. Whitton conveyed this information to Sir 
Timothy in a letter dated January 17, 1817, in which 
he wrote : 

" I had wished to have spared you all consideration 
of the concerns of Mr. P. B. Shelley, but as Mr. West- 
brook hath filed a Bill against him to restrain him 
from taking the custody of the children and that a 
guardian may be appointed to them on the ground 
of Mr. P. B. Shelley's tenets, I do not think myself 
justified in withholding that information, as the sub- 
ject will be heard on Tuesday morning in his Lord- 
ship's private room in the hope that the ground of 
the application may not be made publick. To support 
this application the publication of Queen Mob, and a 
printed letter addressed to Lord Ellenborough in 
justification of Daniel Isaac Eaton who was lately 
convicted of publishing blasphemous works deriding 
the Christian religion are produced. They have also 

1 Among the Shelley- Whitton papers there are the following docu- 
ments relating to the Shelley and Westbrook case : Public Record copies 
of the Bill of Complaint (Jan. 8, 1817) ; Answer of P. B. Shelley (Jan. 18, 
iSt;); Answer of John Westbrook (Jan. 18, 1817); Master's Report 
(April 28, 1818) ; Second affidavit of Elizabeth Westbrook (Jan. 13, 1817) ; 
Affidavit of P. W. Longdill (May 24, 1821); also contemporary office 
copies of Elizabeth Westbrook's affidavit (Jan. 10, 1817) ; and affidavit 
of John Westbrook and Mr. Morphett (Feb. 24, 1818) ; Order for mes- 
senger to bring Shelley's infant son into court (Mar. 2, 1815) ; Copy 
order directing Sir Timothy, out of the annual sum of ^1000 payable by 
him to his son, to pay 120 per annum to Mr. Hume, and also certain 
arrears due to him (April 19, 1821). 


Shelley in England 

exhibited several letters written to the late Mrs. 
Shelley all tending to show his, Mr. P. B. Shelley's, 
total unfitness for the care he seeks. These documents 
are so introduced as not to put them before the pub- 
lick, but whether their tendency shall be preserved in 
the breast of the few who are professionally concerned 
I know not. I have endeavoured to awaken Mr. 
Shelley through Mr. Longdill to the perils of his present 
conduct : for I understand it is intended that he 
should oppose the application of Mr. Westbrook, which 
will necessarily lead to an exposure of his unworthy 
thoughts and actions, and I know not what a Court 
of Justice may be induced to the author of so much 
unjustifiable matter as is stated throughout the pages 
of his books. What effect remonstrances or rather 
the observations I have made will have I know not ; 
but most certain am I that the Lord Chancellor will 
not allow him to have the care of or communication 
with his own children. He says that it is merely from 
a feeling of resentment that this measure is taken, and 
that Mr. Westbrook and his daughter are equally unfit 
with himself to have the care of infants from the turpi- 
tude of their own conduct. I think that Miss West- 
brook is unworthy and Mr. Westbrook is unequal to 
the care whatever his will may be. In these circum- 
stances a stranger must be resorted to, and I can easily 
conceive that the Lord Chancellor will look to you as 
the superintending protector of these little unoffending 
creatures. Can you be in town, or will you furnish 
me with your sentiments ? Mr. Westbrook has settled 
2000 4 p.c. on the children in order to bring them 
within the protection of the Court. Any sum, however 
small, would have been sufficient." 



Whitton's statement covers the chief points in the 
Bill of Complaint. The Bill relates, however, that while 
Harriet was expecting the birth of her son Charles, 
" Shelley became acquainted with a Mr. Godwin, the 
author of a work called Political Justice, and with 
Mary his daughter, and that the said Percy Bysshe 
Shelley about three years ago deserted his said wife 
and unlawfully cohabited with the said Mary Godwin," 
and that Harriet thereupon returned with lanthe to 
her father's house, where she afterwards gave birth 
to Charles Bysshe, and that the children had since 
continued and were then in the custody of John West- 
brook and his daughter Eliza, and that since Harriet 
was deserted by her husband " until a short time 
previously to the time of her death she lived with the 
said John Westbrook her father and that in the month 
of December she died." It also stated that Shelley 
had lived, since he deserted his wife, " with the said 
Mary Godwin and is now unlawfully cohabiting with 
her and has had several illegitimate children by her." 
That Sir Timothy Shelley did, in the year 1815, 
concur with the said Percy Bysshe Shelley in making 
a settlement of certain estates whereby the said 
Percy Bysshe Shelley became and was then entitled 
to a yearly charge or annuity of 1000, subject to the 
payment thereout of the yearly sum of 200 to Harriet, 
and that Sir Timothy had contracted to make some 


Shelley in England 

provision for the children, who, while they lived with 
Mr. Westbrook, were supported partly by him and 
partly by their mother. That since the death of 
Harriet, Shelley had demanded the children, and 
should they be delivered up to him he intended to 
educate them as he thought proper. 

Eliza Westbrook in her first affidavit (dated Janu- 
ary 10, 1817) swore that she was well acquainted with 
the handwriting of Percy Bysshe Shelley, having seen 
him frequently write, and she identified certain speci- 
fied letters J as being in Shelley's handwriting and 
addressed to her sister Harriet, his late wife ; and she 
stated that the female mentioned in the letters under 
the designation of " Mary " was Mary Godwin, with 
whom Shelley in the lifetime of his wife and about the 
middle of the year 1814 took to cohabit with him, and 
had ever since continued to cohabit, and still did co- 
habit, with him. Eliza also swore that another speci- 
fied letter was in the handwriting of Shelley, and was 
addressed by him to the defendant, Eliza Westbrook, 
after the decease of her sister, the late wife of the 
defendant, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and that the person 
referred to in this letter as "the Lady whose union 
with the said defendant this Deponent might excusably 

1 These letters, nine in number, have unfortunately disappeared. It 
is not the practice of the courts to file exhibits, consequently copies of 
them are not to be found at the Record Office. The originals would have 
remained with the Westbrooks 3 solicitors. 



regard as the cause of her sister's ruin " was also the 
said Mary Godwin. She also swore that the copy of 
Queen Mab with the subjoined notes and A Letter to 
Lord Ellenborough were written and published by 
Shelley, she having frequently seen the manuscript 
of such respective books in the handwriting of the 
said defendant, and having repeatedly seen him en- 
gaged in writing the same, and that these books then 
produced were presented by the defendant to his late 
wife, and that since her death she had received several 
applications from the said defendant Percy Bysshe 
Shelley, and from Mr. Leigh Hunt on his behalf, de- 
manding the infant plaintiffs to be delivered to the 
said defendant, Percy Bysshe Shelley. 

In Eliza Westbrook's second affidavit (dated Janu- 
ary 13, 1817) she swore that Shelley had married 
Harriet. in August 1811, and that after the birth of 
Eliza lanthe, and while Harriet was pregnant with 
Charles Bysshe, Shelley deserted his wife, and, as she 
[Eliza] " hath been informed and verily believes," 
unlawfully cohabited with Mary Godwin. That there- 
upon the said Harriet had returned to the house of 
her father, John Westbrook, with Eliza lanthe, where 
soon afterwards she gave birth to Charles Bysshe. 
That the children continued and were at the date of 
the affidavit in the care and protection of John West- 
brook. That Harriet had remained at the house of 


Shelley in England 

her father and in his protection from the time of her 
desertion " until a short time previously to her 
death . . . and that in the month of December last 
she died." She also swore that while the children 
lived at their grandfather's they were partly sup- 
ported by their mother and partly by Mr. Westbrook, 
who, in order to make some provision for them, had 
transferred the sum of 2000 four per cent, bank 
annuities into the names of her, the said Eliza West- 
brook, and of John Higham, upon the trusts contained 
in the said indenture of January 2, 1817. In the 
sworn answer (dated January 8, 1817) of Eliza West- 
brook and John Higham they said that they were 
ready and willing to transfer the stock into court. 
In John Westbrook 's sworn answer he admitted that 
he had transferred the above-named sum into the 
names of Eliza Westbrook and John Higham, that he 
claimed the interest in the said bank annuities by 
virtue of the trusts of the said indenture, and denied 
any unlawful combination and confederacy with the 
complainants in the Bill of Complaint. 

Shelley's sworn answer is dated January 18, 1817. 
He stated that after the birth of Eliza lanthe Shelley 
he and Harriet " agreed, in consequence of certain 
differences between them, to live separate and apart 
from each other," but he denied that he deserted his 
late wife " otherwise than by separating from her as 



aforesaid." He admitted that after the separation 
Harriet returned to her father's house with Eliza 
lanthe Shelley, and that Charles Bysshe Shelley was 
afterwards born as stated in the Bill of Complaint, 
that at Harriet's urgent entreaty he permitted the 
children " to reside with her under her management 
and protection after her separation," although " he 
was very anxious from his affection for his children 
to have them under his care and management during 
his said wife's life but that he forbore so to do in 
compliance with the wishes of his wife and on account 
of their tender age, intending nevertheless to have 
them under his own care and to provide for their edu- 
cation himself as soon as they should be of a proper 
age or in case of the death of his said wife, never having 
in any manner abandoned or deserted them or had 
any intention of so doing. That if the children were 
then in the care of Eliza and John Westbrook they 
were so against his consent, and that they had been 
clandestinely placed in some place unknown to him, 
without his being able to find them or have access to 
them, and that since the death of his wife he had 
frequently applied to the said Elizabeth and John 
Westbrook and requested to have his children delivered 
up to him, and that they refused to deliver them up 
or to inform him where they were. He denied that 
he was unlawfully cohabiting with Mary Godwin, 

497 21 

Shelley in England 

whom he had married since Harriet's death, and he 
denied that Sir Timothy Shelley in the year 1815 
concurred with him in making a settlement to the 
purport and effect in the said Bill of Complaint. That 
up to the month of June 1815 he had been in receipt 
from his father of an allowance of 200 per annum 
only, and that, in consequence, he had become indebted 
to certain persons in large sums of money amounting 
altogether to upwards of 5000, and that being pressed 
for payment and being totally unable to pay the sum 
he had applied to Sir Timothy, who by arrangement 
with him had advanced in June 1815 a considerable 
sum of money towards the payment of his debts and 
had secured to him an annuity of 1000 during the 
joint lives of himself and his father, by way of rent 
charges out of certain estates belonging to Sir Timothy. 
That although the children may have been supported 
partly by their mother and partly by John West- 
brook, he (Shelley) had, on his father assisting him 
with money and increasing his allowance to 1000 a 
year, ' immediately ' written to Sir Timothy and 
requested him to give directions to his bankers to 
pay to the order of the said Harriet Shelley the annual 
sum of 200 in quarterly payments out of his allow- 
ance, which was accordingly done : that the first 
instalment had been paid in June 1815, and that in 
the same month of June 1815, he had sent Harriet 



the full sum of 200 with which to discharge her debts. 
That this allowance to his wife was regularly paid to 
Harriet to the time of her death. That if he got 
possession of the children he should educate them as he 
thought proper, which he intended to do ' virtuously ' 
and properly, and to provide for their support and 
maintenance in a manner suitable to their birth and 
prospects in the world, and to the best of his judgment 
and ability ; that he humbly submitted and insisted 
that being their father he was the natural guardian of 
his children, and that it was his duty to provide for 
their maintenance and education. That in order to 
make provision for the children sufficient to enable 
the said John Westbrook to contest his just right as 
the father and natural guardian of the children, but 
not further and as he believed for no other purpose, 
the said John Westbrook might have transferred the 
sum of 2000 bank annuities to Eliza Westbrook, John 
Higham and another mentioned in the Bill of Com- 
plaint for the benefit of such children, that his children 
were of such tender age that they could not from any 
reasonable ground of objection on their part be de- 
sirous that they should not be placed in his custody, 
not being of sufficient age, as he submitted and insisted, 
to judge for themselves either as to that or any other 
circumstances that could affect their future prospects 
or welfare in life. And he humbly submitted and 


Shelley in England 

insisted that he was exclusively entitled to their cus- 
tody and care, and that he ought not to be deprived 
thereof or to have his just rights as their father and 
natural guardian taken from him or abridged, and that 
they ought to be delivered up to him." 

Sir Samuel Romilly, one of the leading members of 
the Chancery bar, was engaged for the Westbrooks. 
Charles Wetherell was Shelley's leading counsel, and 
he was supported by Basil Montagu and Mr. Bell, 
none of whom, unfortunately for Shelley, were so 
skilled as Romilly for eloquence and experience. 
Wetherell, who subsequently defended successfully 
James Watson in a high-treason case, was knighted 
some years later. Montagu was the learned editor 
of Bacon and the friend of Godwin and Charles Lamb, 
but he was no match for Romilly. 

Reporters were not admitted to the court, but a 
short account of the proceedings appeared in the 
Morning Chronicle, probably from hearsay. 

Mr. WetherelTs brief, which was prepared by Long- 
dill, contains the following observations on the Bill of 
Complaint. 1 Little, it was admitted, could be said 
in defence of Queen Mab, but that it was written 
and printed by the author when he was only nine- 

1 The brief, in the possession of Mr. H. Buxton Forman, C.B., was 
quoted from at length in the Life of Shelley by Professor Dowden, of 
whose account of the Chancery proceedings I have ventured to make 
liberal use. 



teen, and only distributed to personal friends ; twenty 
copies, it appears, had got abroad. The copy re- 
ferred to by Miss Westbrook was one that Shelley 
had given confidentially to his late wife. He had 
not been able to obtain a copy of the Letter to 
Lord Eilenborough, as only a few copies were printed 
and none ever circulated publicly. Notwithstanding 
Shelley's " violent philippics against the despotism of 
marriage," he had married twice before he was twenty- 
five, and was " no sooner liberated from the despotic 
chains, which he speaks of with so much horror and 
contempt, than he forges a new set and becomes a 
willing victim of this horrid despotism." It was 
hoped that a consideration of the difference between 
his speculative opinions and his actions would induce 
the Lord Chancellor not to think very seriously of 
this boyish and silly but entirely unjustifiable publica- 
tion of Queen Mob. There appeared to be no case in 
which the Chancellor had exercised his right of taking 
the children from the care of their father solely on 
account of his religious opinions, and as Shelley had 
married Miss Godwin, the objection of his connection 
with her was at an end. No danger at present could 
be apprehended as to the effects of the father's re- 
ligious opinions. Shelley was tenant in tail to the 
Shelley estates to the value probably of 8000, besides 
having not very remote prospects of a still larger 

Shelley in England 

inheritance. If the children were taken from his care it 
might effect an estrangement of all parental affection on 
the one hand and filial piety on the other, and it was 
" feared that he might be led to look on the children 
which he might have by his present wife (one of whom 
was born during the life of the late Mrs. Shelley) as 
the sole objects of his affection, as well as of his pecuni- 
ary consideration." It was presumed that the peti- 
tion of the Westbrooks for the custody of the children 
would not be granted, as Mr. Westbrook formerly 
kept a coffee-house. There were even greater objec- 
tions to Miss Westbrook, who was described as 
" illiterate and vulgar," and it was by her " advice and 
active concurrence, and it may be said by her manage- 
ment, that Mr. Shelley when at the age of nineteen 
ran away with Miss Westbrook, then of the age of 
seventeen, and married her in Scotland. Miss West- 
brook was then nearly thirty, and if she had acted as 
she ought to have done as the guardian and friend of 
her younger sister, all this misery and disgrace to both 
families would have been avoided." 

The case was heard on Friday, January 24, 1817, 
before Lord Chancellor Eldon, who declared that he 
would give his decision on another day. Subsequently 
an application was made to him to deliver his judg- 
ment in his private room, and this he arranged to do. 

While the decision was still in the balance, Shelley 



wrote to Mary, on January 3Oth, in a depressed mood : 
" I have little doubt in my own mind but that they 
will succeed in the criminal part of the business I 
mean that some such punishment as imprisonment 
and fine will be awarded me by a jury." 

The Chancellor gave his judgment in writing on 
March 17, 1817. He stated that there was nothing 
in evidence before him to authorise him in thinking 
that Shelley had changed before he arrived at the age 
of twenty-five the principles he avowed at nineteen, 
that he thought there was ample evidence in the papers 
and the conduct that no such change had taken place. 
That this was a case in which, as the matter appeared 
to him, the father's principles could not be misunder- 
stood, in which his conduct, which he (the Chancellor) 
could not but consider as highly immoral, had been 
established in proof, and established as the effect of 
those principles ; conduct nevertheless which he repre- 
sented to himself and others, not as conduct to be 
considered as immoral, but to be recommended and 
observed in practice and as worthy of approbation. 
He considered it, therefore, as a case in which the 
father had demonstrated that he must and did deem 
it to be a matter of duty which his duties imposed 
upon him, to recommend to those whose opinions and 
habits he might take upon himself to form, that con- 
duct in some of the most important relations of life 


Shelley in England 

as moral and virtuous, which the law called upon him 
(the Chancellor) to consider as immoral and vicious 
conduct which the law animadverted upon as incon- 
sistent with the duties of persons in such relations of 
life, and which it considered as injuriously affecting 
both the interests of such persons and those of the 

That he could not therefore think that he would be 
justified in delivering over the children for their educa- 
tion exclusively to what was called the care to which 
Mr. Shelley wished it to be intrusted. That much had 
been said upon the fact that the children were of tender 
years. That in what degree and to what extent the 
Court would interfere in that case against parental 
authority could not be finally determined till after 
the Master's report. That in the meantime he re- 
strained the father and his agents from taking posses- 
sion of the persons of the infants or intermeddling 
with them till further order, and he referred it to the 
Master to inquire what would be a proper plan for the 
maintenance and education of the infants and also 
to inquire with whom and whose care the infants 
should remain during their minority or until further 

Shelley had lost his case, and it now remained for 
him and for the Westbrooks to nominate guardians 
for the care and education of the children. 



On August 1st the following proposals were laid 
before the Master in Chancery with regard to their edu- 
cation and for the appointment of a proper person 
under whose care they should be placed. Shelley, as 
defendant, nominated his solicitor, P. W. Longdill, and 
his wife for that position, and the plaintiffs proposed 
that the children should be placed in the family of the 
Rev. John Kendall, who was the Master of Lord Ley- 
cester's Hospital at Warwick, and Vicar of Budbroke. 
The children, as a matter of fact, at the time of Harriet 
Shelley's death were under the care of this Mr. Kendall. 
The Master certified that, as the children " would 
have a better chance of receiving such an education 
as would contribute to their future welfare and happi- 
ness in Mr. Kendall's family than if they were brought 
up according to the proposal under the directions of 
their father, he approved the proposal laid before him 
on behalf of the plaintiffs." 

Mary Shelley, in writing to Mrs. Leigh Hunt on 
August i6th, says : " Our sensations of indignation 
have been a little excited this morning by the decision 
of the Master of Chancery. He says the children are 
to go to this old clergyman in Warwickshire, who is 
to stand instead of a parent. An old fellow whom 
no one knows and [who] never saw the children. This 
is somewhat beyond credibility did we not see it in 
black and white. Longdill is very angry that his 


Shelley in England 

proposition is rejected, and means to appeal from 
the Master to the Lord Chancellor." Apparently 
Longdill made an appeal, for if he did not himself 
secure the custody of the children, it was decided 
that they should be removed from the care of Mr. 

Mr. Whitton wrote to Sir Timothy, on November 24th, 
to inform him that the Chancellor had refused to 
appoint either Mr. Longdill or Mr. Kendall as guardian 
of the children. The question of the custody of the 
children, however, was not settled till some months 
later. The Master in his report, dated April 28, 1818, 
stated that Mr. Westbrook had named the Rev. Jacob 
Cheesborough of Ulcombe, Kent, and his wife as 
suitable guardians, but the Master approved of the 
persons nominated by Shelley, namely Thomas Hume 
of Brent End Lodge, Hanwell, Doctor in Medicine, 
and Caroline his wife, " with whom and under whose 
care the infants shall remain during their minorities 
or until further Order of the Court." 

Dr. Hume and Mr. Cheesborough both submitted 
proposals and plans for the education of the children 
to the Master, who gave his approval to Dr. and Mrs. 
Hume's scheme. 1 Dr. Hume proposed that the boy, 
who was then about three, should at the age of seven 

1 The following are the chief points of Dr. Hume's scheme from the 
Master's Report. 



be placed at a good school to be instructed in the rudi- 
ments of the classics, in ancient and modern history, 
and be prepared for one of the large or public schools, 
whither he should be sent at a proper age, if circum- 
stances permitted, to one of the universities. But 
with respect to placing him at the university, or by 
anticipation pointing out any particular profession or 
mode of life for the child, Dr. Hume considered it 
would be premature. In the choice of schools Dr. and 
Mrs. Hume would prefer one under the superintendence 
of an orthodox clergyman of the Church of England, 
but he did not consider the circumstance of the head- 
master being a clergyman positively essential if there 
were other points of high recommendation in favour 
of an establishment. 

With respect to the girl, then of the age of about five, 
it was suggested that she should be educated at home 
under the immediate eye of Mrs. Hume, who would 
herself instruct her in history, geography, and litera- 
ture in general. The accomplishments of drawing, 
painting, music, singing, and dancing should receive 
all the attention they deserve, when the child dis- 
played a capacity of receiving the necessary instruc- 
tions ; and the more homely employments of fancy 
work and sewing should not be neglected ; domestic 
economy too should receive its share of attention. In 
short, Dr. and Mrs. Hume, feeling that a young mind 


Shelley in England 

must be continually occupied, Would endeavour to 
keep it occupied by those things which in some way or 
other lead to its improvement or to general usefulness. 
Upon the score of dress Dr. and Mrs. Hume would, if 
necessary, be very positive on the absolute necessity 
of resisting and disregarding the fashions of the day, 
if they included, as they do in their opinion at the 
present day, an apparent abandonment of all feelings 
of feminine delicacy and decency. Habitual neatness 
of dress they would require on the most private occa- 
sions, and an habitual decency of dress on all occasions. 
As to the general reading of the girl at a more advanced 
age, Dr. and Mrs. Hume would, as far as their influ- 
ence extended, keep from her perusal all books that 
tended to shake her faith in any of the great points 
of the established religion. They would discounte- 
nance the reading of novels, except, perhaps, some few 
unexceptionable books of that sort. They would to a 
certain degree encourage the reading, and indeed the 
studying of some of our best poets, but with respect to 
Pope and some others Dr. Hume would take care that 
she was furnished with selections only. Of Shake- 
speare Dr. Hume understands an edition purified from 
its grossness has been published, and this edition he 
would put into her hand. He believes that an edition 
of Hume's History of England has lately been published 
in which his insidious attacks on religion are omitted, 



and with this edition Dr. Hume would take care she 
was provided. 

To the morals of the children Dr. and Mrs. Hume 
would pay particular attention, and would make 
instruction and discipline go hand in hand. They 
would endeavour strongly to impress on the children 
notions of modesty and self-diffidence, and to repress 
every feeling of vanity and self-sufficiency. They 
would endeavour to inculcate in them high notions 
of the value of a character for truth and personal 
honour, and a thorough detestation of affectation, 
deceitfulness, and falsehood. Dr. and Mrs. Hume 
conceived it was the duty of a parent and guardian, 
among other things, in not countenancing and, indeed, 
in not tolerating any irreverent allusions in matters 
of religion. On the subject of religion they would 
bring up the children in the faith and tenets of the 
Church of England ; they would deem it an imperative 
duty to inculcate on them solemn, serious, and orthodox 
notions of religion, but at the same time they would 
be cautious not prematurely to lead their unripe minds 
to that momentous subject. To a morning and even- 
ing prayer and thanksgiving, and to grace before and 
after meals, they would regularly accustom the chil- 
dren, and would take occasion to inculcate on them 
general religious feeling without bringing to their 
notice controversial points that might excite doubts 


Shelley in England 

which they would be unable to solve. What is clearly 
revealed they would teach them fervently to embrace. 
A regular attendance at Divine Service on Sundays 
Dr. and Mrs. Hume would (when the children arrive 
at a proper age) consider an indispensable duty. 

With respect to the intercourse to be permitted 
between Mr. Shelley and his children, the Lord Chan- 
cellor having intimated that he should suspend his 
judgment as to how far and in what degree he would 
in this case interfere, Dr. and Mrs. Hume would feel 
it their bounden duty implicitly to obey the order 
and directions of the Lord Chancellor with respect 
to the intercourse and interference of Mr. Shelley 
with the children, whatever that order and these 
directions might be. 

It is not surprising that such a rule of perfection 
should have proved irresistible to the Master in 
Chancery. But Dr. and Mrs. Hume were evidently 
so conscious of the responsibility that they were pre- 
pared to undertake, or so very eager to obtain the 
guardianship of the children, that they carefully left 
no point in their education unconsidered. Their 
scheme embraced much that was calculated to turn 
out a couple of young prigs. It would be interesting 
to know what Shelley thought of this plan, if he 
ever saw it, for the education and upbringing of 
his children. Fortunately this worthy couple were 


not given many years to apply to the children their 

The children remained with Dr. Hume until they 
were removed from his care by an order of the Court 
of Chancery dated January 22, 1822, and placed in 
the custody of the Rev. James Williams and Elizabeth 
his wife, of Chelsfield, near Foots Cray, in Kent. 
Their nomination was made on the recommendation 
of the Westbrooks, whose solicitors, Messrs. Dease, 
Dendy & Morphett, wrote on January 2, 1822, to 
Mr. Whitton saying that Sir John Lubbock and Mr. 
Alderman Atkins had seats in Mr. Williams' neigh- 
bourhood, and were well acquainted with him. Sir 
Timothy approved of " the situation at Chelsfield for 
the Poor Little Innocents under so respectable recom- 
mendations as well as the sacred obligation Sir J. W. 
Lubbock and Mr. Richard Williams offer from the 
usage of the Court of Chancery." x 

With the death of Shelley, his allowance for the 
maintenance of the children ceased. Mr. John A. 
Powell, the solicitor for Shelley's executors, furnished 
Mr. Whitton, on November 15, 1822, with copies of 
certificates to prove the poet's marriage with Harriet 
Westbrook in Scotland and London, and the birth of 
their son, and he added that he presumed the sum 
usually allowed for the children's maintenance and 

1 Sir Timothy Shelley to William Whitton, Feb. 3, 1822. 

Shelley in England 

education had been stopped until the legitimacy of 
the son had been proved. Whitton wrote to Powell, 
on March 10, 1823, stating that Sir Timothy agreed to 
pay the next quarterly allowance, but that he declined 
to give any pledge or assurance that he would continue 
his payments for the children, as any such payment 
might be unnecessary if the legacies given to the 
children by their father should be raised for their 

The difficulty of providing for the children was 
surmounted by an order of the Court of Chancery 
(dated July 21, 1823) appointing Sir Timothy Shelley 
guardian of his grandson Charles Bysshe Shelley, and 
Mr. Westbrook and his daughter, Mrs. Farthing Beau- 
champ (formerly Eliza Westbrook), guardians of Eliza 
lanthe Shelley. 

Sir Timothy put little Charles to school with the Rev. 
Alexander Greenlaw, D.C.L., 1 of Zion House Academy, 
Brentford, where Shelley received his first schooling. 
Mr. Wnitton wrote from his office to Sir Timothy about 
the boy on August 8, 1823 : " Charles is well engaged 
at a Mutton Chop in my front room. Mr. Williams [his 
custodian] brought him here this morning and I paid 
him 50 for his quarter and half quarter and for his 

1 In Foster's Alumni Oxonienses he is described as " Rev. Alexander 
Greenlaw, son of John, of Elgin, co. Moray, Scot. Gent., St. Alban Hall. 
Matric. 8 July 1790, aged 25; B.A., 1796; M.A., 1801 ; B.C.L. and 
D.C.L., 1804 ; died at Blackheath, 1829." 



Journey. I intend to take him home with me in the 
afternoon, and put him into the hands of Mrs. Whitton 
so that he may be properly clothed and all necessary 
articles be prepared for his going to school on Monday." 
Charles, however, was unwell and the Whittons de- 
tained him for a few days, when Mrs. Whitton took 
him to school herself and saw Dr. Greenlaw, who pro- 
mised to give him his particular attention. When 
Whitton's daughter saw the boy some days later he 
told her that he was " happy." It is to be hoped that 
Charles had a better time at the school than his father, 
for he was a delicate child. There is a reference to him 
in a letter of Whitton's to Sir Timothy on October 27, 
1823, i n which he says that his wife had brought Charles 
to Stockwell on Saturday, that " he returned this 
morning/' apparently to school, and he had a bad cold. 
Three years later, in June 1826, we read in Whitton's 
correspondence that the boy was lying ill at Field Place 
and was being looked after by his grandmother and 
aunts, and that a physician had been called in. As a 
matter of fact, the child was suffering from consump- 
tion. Whitton wrote to Peacock about the boy's health 
and enclosed a doctor's report ; he does not mention the 
nature of his complaint, but its gravity was apparent, 
as he says he fears it puts a complete negative to Mrs. 
Shelley's hope of raising an annuity " upon her ex- 
pectant interest in the Estates incumbered as they have 

513 2 K 

Shelley in England 

been." The condition of the boy grew rapidly worse : 
his grandfather, who was undoubtedly fond of him, 
wrote on September nth from Field Place to Whitton : 
" Last evening the medical attendant doubted if poor 
little Charles could survive an hour, but not all night : 
with attention and care he still exists, it cannot be 
for long, nor does he suffer by pain, and the great con- 
solation was, he talked of getting downstairs and be 
better. The next time I write in all human probability 
that he is called to another, and, I trust, a better world." 
On September I4th, Whitton wrote to Peacock to say 
that he had just received a letter from Sir Timothy 
with the news of " the death of poor dear little Charles 
without a struggle. Will you please to acquaint Mrs. 
Shelley of this event." Mr. Westbrook was also in- 
formed of the fact through his solicitor. 

In the Register at Warnham, Sussex, is the following 
entry among the burials : 

1826. Sep. 16. Charles Bysshe, son of late Percy 
Bysshe and Harriet Shelley age n years. 


From this it appears that the boy was buried by 
Mr. Edwards, who had taught his father the elements 
of Latin in 1798. 

Mrs. Beauchamp proved a kind guardian to her 
niece lanthe, who married, on September 27, 1837, 



Mr. Edward Jeffries Esdaile, by whom she had two 
sons, Charles and William. The latter became a 
clergyman, and died in 1915 ; he recalled with 
gratitude in later years his early impressions of Mrs. 
Beauchamp and her kindness to his mother. He 
remembered her "as a handsome, grand old lady, 
with dark front of hair, piercing dark eyes, and with 
a kind manner to children, but of whom we were 
somewhat afraid. Her carriage, old-fashioned large 
chariot, spot dog, large horses, man-servant, lady- 
companion, formed a whole which made a deep im- 
pression on my childish memory." 1 

The name of Eliza Westbrook's husband was origin- 
ally Farthing, and he was a clerk in a London bank, 
when an old lady named Beauchamp fell in love with 
him and left him all her property, on condition that 
he should change his name to Beauchamp. 2 

Mrs. Beauchamp subsequently inherited the property 
of her father, John Westbrook, who died in 1835 at 
Walford House, Mr. Beauchamp 's residence. In his 
will (proved May 22, 1835, by Robert Farthing Beau- 
champ and John Squire, the surviving executors) he 
is described merely as of Chapel Street, Grosvenor 
Square, but in the Probate Act as formerly of Mount 

1 These reminiscences of the Rev. William Esdaile were given by 
Professor Dowden in his Life of Shelley, vol. i. p. 142. 

2 Dowden's Life of Shelley, vol. i. p. 142. 


Shelley in England 

Coffee-house, Grosvenor Square, afterwards of Chapel 
Street, Grosvenor Square, but late of Walford House, 
near Taunton, in the County of Somerset. He 
bequeathed the whole of his residuary estate to his 
executors upon trust for his daughter and only sur- 
viving child Elizabeth for life, and then to her chil- 
dren. The personal estate was sworn under 60,000. l 

Mrs. lanthe Esdaile, as stated on an earlier page, 
died in June 1876. 

For the sake of continuity we have followed the 
fortunes of Shelley's children by Harriet, but we will 
now return to his doings at the beginning of the year 
1817. On February I4th he took a place, afterwards 
known as Albion House, in West Street, Great Marlow, 
from the preceding December 2ist, on a lease for twenty- 
one years. The house, or houses, of which there were 

1 John Westbrook is described as of the Parish of St. Mary, Lambeth, 
vintner, in the Bond into which he entered on July 15, 1780, with the 
Bishop of London, for his marriage with Ann Elliott of the Parish of 
St. George, Hanover Square, Spinster. In the allegation bearing the 
same date as above, Westbrook is described as a bachelor aged twenty-nine 
years, and Miss Elliott as twenty-three. The marriage was solemnized 
on July 20, 1780. The Mount Coffee-house where Westbrook made his 
money was at No. 78 Lower Grosvenor Street, a few doors from New 
Bond Street. The house, which still appears to be the old building, has 
been renumbered 80. It is now a private residence in the occupation of 
Dr. Cowper. Peter Cunningham tells us that there was a famous coffee- 
house in Mount Street known as The Mount, frequented by Laurence 
Sterne during the latter years of his life, while he was occupying lodgings 
at 41 Old Bond Street, where he died on March 18, 1768. Sterne 
addressed many of his letters from this coffee-house. The site of No. 23 
Chapel Street is now occupied by part of No. 2 Aldford Street. 



three adjoining each other, had lately been in the 
occupation of the governor and members of the Royal 
Military College, and was the property of Mr. Jeffrey 
Tylecote of Burton-on-Trent. Besides these three 
houses, with the gardens belonging to them, Shelley 
had also taken a lease of a meadow of four acres ad- 
joining. The north side of this meadow was bounded 
by land in the occupation of Rachel Hamilton, on the 
south by West Street, and on the east by Oxford Lane. 
Shelley remained in the house for about a year, and 
transferred the lease, on February 14, 1818, to a Mr. 
William Carter of Hackney. 1 

Shelley and Mary spent much of their time during 
the first three weeks of February 1817 with the Hunts 
at Hampstead, and were introduced to their interest- 
ing circle of acquaintances and friends. Mary's diary 
tells of Leigh Hunt's musical evenings ; it mentions 
Keats, who came in several times ; and it records the 
occasion on which he brought John Hamilton Rey- 
nolds to tea, so that the three " Young Poets " 
whose work had formed the subject of Hunt's recent 
article in the Examiner met together in the flesh. 
Keats, who was inclined to suspect those of gentler 
blood than himself, did not take to Shelley, and 

1 This information is derived from the deed of release which is in the 
possession of the author. The premises are not referred to as Albion 
House in the deed. 


Shelley in England 

Shelley did not like Reynolds. Hazlitt was also a 
visitor of the Hunts, but Shelley's manner and voice 
made a bad impression on the essayist. 1 It was not 
so, however, with Horace Smith, whose 

" Wit and sense, 

Virtue and human knowledge ; all that might 
Make this dull world a business of delight," 

enabled him to thoroughly appreciate Shelley. 

On Sunday, February 23rd, Shelley, Mary, William, 
and Clare went to Marlow. In the course of the 
following week they entered their new house, where 
Godwin paid them an early visit and stayed a night 
or two. Hunt then came down with his wife, and 
she prolonged her stay for a few weeks. 

During the early days at Marlow, Mary busied her- 
self with getting the house in order and with correcting 

1 Hazlitt in his essay " On Paradox and Commonplace," published 
in Table Talk, 1821, said: "The author of 'Prometheus Unbound' . . . 
has a fire in his eye, a fever in his blood, a maggot in his brain, a hectic 
flutter in his speech, which mark out the philosophic fanatic. He is 
sanguine-complexioned, and shrill-voiced." After Shelley's death, in 
reviewing the Posthumous Poems in the Edinburgh Review for July 1824, 
he gave a not unpleasing picture of the poet. He said : " Mr. Shelley was 
a remarkable man. His person was a type and shadow of his genius. 
His complexion fair, golden, freckled, seemed transparent with an inward 
light, and his spirit within him 

' So divinely wrought, 
That you might almost say his body thought.' 

He reminded those who saw him of some of Ovid's fables. His form, 
graceful and slender, drooped like a flower in the breeze. But he was 
crushed beneath the weight of thought which he aspired to bear, and was 
withered in the lightning-glare of a ruthless philosophy !" 



the proofs of her novel, Frankenstein, the publication 
of which was offered to John Murray and to Oilier 
and refused by both of them. It was subsequently 
issued by Lackington, probably in January 1818. 
While the book was on offer to Lackington, Mary gave 
birth, on September 2nd, at Marlow, to a girl, who was 
named Clara Everina, after Clare Clairmont and her 
great-aunt Everina Wollstonecraft. 

Shelley's summer task was the composition of his 
poem Laon and Cythna, 1 a task to which he addressed 
himself, as he tells us in the preface, " with unremit- 
ting ardour and enthusiasm." The manuscript was 
completed by the end of September. The poem was 
dedicated to Mary in lines breathing love and fervour, 
lines in which he recalled the storm and stress of his 
youth and voiced his hope and fears of the future. 
The dedication concludes with these memorable lines : 

" If there must be no response to my cry 
If men must rise and stamp with fury blind 

On his pure name who loves them, thou and I, 
Sweet friend ! can look from our tranquillity 
Like lamps into the world's tempestuous night, 
Two tranquil stars, while clouds are passing by 
Which wrap them from the foundering seaman's sight, 
That burn from year to year with unextinguished light." 

One rejected fragment of this dedication is preserved 
among the portions of the original manuscript at 

1 After a few copies were issued under this title, the poem underwent 
several alterations which were made by the insertion of cancelled leaves, 
and it was subsequently published as The Revolt of Islam. 


Shelley in England 

Avington, Hants. Shelley has decorated it with a 
pretty drawing of trees, such as he sometimes sketched 
on the blank leaves of his manuscripts, but it possesses 
a stronger personal interest. The first portion of the 
holograph is apparently an early draft of stanza xiii, 
but the lines that follow, which form a part of stanza 
vi, contain some cancelled lines relating undoubtedly 
to Harriet Grove : 

" She whom I found was dear but false to me," 
and to Harriet Shelley : 

" The other's heart was like a heart of stone 
Which crushed and withered mine." 

"A voice went forth from that mis[s]hapen spirit 
Which was the echo of three thousand years 
And the tumultuous world stood mute to hear it 
As some lone man who on a sudden hears 
The music of his [fatherland] x home unwonted [awe] fears 

Fell on the pale oppressors of our race 

[And the free lept forth in joy] 

And faith and custom and low-thoughted cares 
[Fled from a thousand hearts and found no 
[Of songs left that could not be] 

[Aught] Like thunder-stricken dragons for a space 
[Were torn] Left the deep human heart which is their . . . 
dwelling place. 

Nor ever found I [found] one not false to me 
[Hearts] Hard hearts and cold like weights of icy stone 
That crushed and withered mine [which ne'er could] 
[and] She whom I found was dear but false to me 
The other's heart was like a heart of stone 
Which crushed and withered mine." 

1 The words between brackets are cancelled in the MS. 


The summer days seem to have slipped pleasantly 
away, although the Shelleys were not entirely free 
from worries. Besides Shelley's health, which had 
suffered and given Mary cause for anxiety, there were 
Clare Clairmont's affairs and Godwin's pecuniary 
difficulties. Clare, the source of many calumnies 
directed against Shelley, was a pretty brunette full of 
life, who, with a yearning for romance, was prepared for 
any adventure that would lift her out of the paralysing 
monotony of her existence with the Godwin household 
at Skinner Street. After her return from her first 
visit to the Continent with Shelley and Mary she had 
called on Byron, who was connected with Drury Lane 
Theatre, to ask him for an introduction to the stage. 
She did not become an actress, but she met Byron 
again when she visited Geneva with the Shelleys in 
1816, and she had an intrigue with him there. It is 
doubtful whether the Shelleys were ignorant of this 
intrigue, but Clare remained with them when they 
came back to England, and in January 1817 she gave 
birth at Bath to a daughter, subsequently named 
Allegra. The Shelleys continued to look after Clare 
and the child at Marlow, but the position was a painful 
one for Mary, owing to the difficulty of accounting to 
the neighbours for Allegra's parentage. Byron, the 
reputed father of the child, refused to correspond with 
her mother, and it fell to Shelley's lot to write to him, 

Shelley in England 

So far from disowning Allegra, Byron seems to have 
been interested in the welfare of the child, but he 
behaved in a thoroughly callous manner towards 
Clare. When Shelley, Mary, and their children left 
England for the last time in 1818, Clare and Allegra 
went with them. 

Shelley, as we have seen, received a considerable 
sum of money from his father, but this sum was in- 
sufficient to discharge his debts. These are said to 
have been partly debts incurred in his name by Harriet, 
but they consisted undoubtedly to a far greater extent 
of certain obligations that he had undertaken, with 
want of forethought, on behalf of Godwin. Godwin 
was so hopelessly involved that any endeavour to 
extricate him from his debts was a hopeless task. 
It was as hopeless as attempting to rescue a man in 
the toils of an octopus by trying to hack off its tentacles 
with a penknife. Shelley's correspondence with God- 
win continued to be concerned with money matters, 
.but it is not proposed to follow it here. It is suffi- 
cient to say that Shelley's affairs were again involved. 
Among his creditors was Captain Pilfold, who had 
evidently failed to obtain payment of a debt due to 
him from his nephew, and who had applied to Sir 
Timothy Shelley for it. The nature of the obligation 
does not appear, but it may have been that the Captain 



had gone surety for Shelley, who was unable to meet 
the debt. Whitton wrote to Captain Pilfold at Nelson 
Hall, near Cuckfield, Sussex, on March I2th, saying 
that Sir Timothy Shelley had found it necessary to 
refer to him regarding Mr. B. Shelley's concerns, and 
declined to interfere in them, and he informed him that 
Bysshe's solicitors were Messrs. Longdill & Butterfield 
of Gray's Inn. The next mention of this affair is to 
be found in Mary's letter of October i6th from Marlow 
to Shelley, who was at London, in which she writes : 
" You say nothing of the late arrest, and what may be 
the consequences, and may they not detain you ? and 
may you not be detained many months, for Godwin 
must not be left unprovided ? All these things make 
me run over the months, and know not where to put 
my finger and say during this year your Italian 
journey may commence." l Professor Dowden's com- 
ment on this passage that " Mary Shelley's fears of 
an arrest were not realised," however, was not correct. 
It would appear that not only was Shelley arrested 
before October i6th, the date of her letter, but that 
Mary seems to have feared that he was in danger 
of being arrested again, and cautioned him of the 
danger of returning to Marlow. She wrote, on 

1 Shelley had gone to town on September 23rd to consult Mr. William 
Lawrence, a pupil of Abernethy, with regard to his health. The physician 
recommended change of air and scene, and Shelley was inclined towards 
spending the winter in Italy. 


Shelley in England 

October i8th : " Mr. Wright has called here to-day, 
my dearest Shelley, and wished to see you. I 
can hardly have any doubt that his business is of 
the same nature as that which made him call last 
week. You will judge, but it appears to me that 
an arrest on Monday will follow your arrival on 
Sunday. My love, you ought not to come down. A 
long long week has passed, and when at length I am 
allowed to expect you, I am obliged to tell you not 
to come." 

There is evidence of Shelley's arrest, at the instance 
of his uncle, Captain Pilfold, in Mr. Whitton's minute- 
book, where the following entry appears under the 
date of October 22nd : " Attended Mr. Longdill on the 
arrest of Mr. Bysshe Shelley to Captain Pilfold and 
another creditor and the necessity of him raising money 
and his hope that Sii Timy would prevent the neces- 
sity of his selling his reversion." On the same day 
Whitton gave some further particulars of the arrest 
in a letter to Sir Timothy, in which he said that he 
had received " a visit some weeks since from Mr. 
Longdill stating that a Mr. Gordon of Brighton had 
offered Mr. Shelley to purchase the Reversion of the 
farm in Shipley at 3000, that Mr. Shelley had debts to 
satisfy, and that unless he could borrow some money 
he must sell. I did not trouble you," Whitton con- 
tinued, " with a communication in writing, but I told 



Mr. Longdill that you would not buy and I believe 
would not lend. He has just called on me again and 
I find that he has been arrested for his debt and by a 
person who held a bill which he accepted for a friend 
and that his debts amount to about 1500, and as I 
suppose to a much larger amount for he and such like 
persons seldom estimate on more debts than what 
they are pressed for the payment of. I mention these 
circumstances because I am desired to do so, but I 
am far from thinking it right that I should recommend 
you to do anything for his relief, or to involve your- 
self with his debts. As he will sell soon should you 
now advance what he wants, I do not see that you 
can protect him against himself without involving 
your other inoff ending children. I cannot but 
think he should be left to find his own means. 
If however you think otherwise and will let me 
know your wishes, I will endeavour to execute them. 
Your past exertions to support him and prevent 
a waste of his property must be your consolation. 
I understand that he was under arrest for two 
days by Mr. Pilfold, and that it has been most 
annoying to him as he says his character has suffered 
from it." 

The date of Shelley's arrest is not mentioned. If 
he were arrested before October i6th, as Mary's letter 
would have us believe, it may have occurred between 


Shelley in England 

September 30th, when he went to town, and October 
loth, when he returned to Marlow. On October nth 
he went to London, and he came to Marlow on the 
following day with Godwin, and left for town with 
him on October i6th. 

During Shelley's residence at Great Marlow he 
issued two pamphlets under the pseudonym of " The 
Hermit of Marlow." The first of these brochures was 
A Proposal for Putting Reform to the Vote throughout 
the Kingdom. Accepting the fact that the people 
were not properly represented by the House of Com- 
mons, he advocated, as a remedy, an extension of the 
franchise and the summoning of annual parliaments, 
and he suggested that a vote of the inhabitants of 
Great Britain and Ireland should be taken to ascertain 
if they desired such a reform. Towards the expenses 
of obtaining this plebiscite Shelley was willing to 
contribute a sum of one hundred pounds, or a tenth 
part of his annual income, and he believed that others 
also would be found to support the work. He did not 
advocate universal suffrage, as he considered that the 
public were unprepared for it through lack of educa- 
tion, but he thought that none save " those who 
register their names as paying certain sums in direct 
taxes ought to send members to Parliament." 

The other Marlow pamphlet was entitled An Address 
to the People on the Death of the Princess Charlotte. 



Here he contrasted the death of the Princess with the 
execution of Brandath, Turner, and Ludlam, three 
operatives who had been convicted of taking part in 
the so-called Derbyshire insurrection. On November 
7th, the day after the Princess died, these wretched 
men were drawn on hurdles to the place of execution, 
where they were hanged and decapitated in public. 
The death of the Princess, as heir to the throne, was 
generally accepted as a national calamity, whereas 
Shelley pointed out the real calamity was the state 
of England that had caused these uneducated men to 
commit acts of violence which, though he deprecated 
them, had been expiated by a punishment barbarous 
in its severity. These pamphlets constituted Shelley's 
final public utterances on politics, and they probably 
both had a limited circulation, that of the last, it 
is said, being restricted to a private issue of twenty 

Early in October 1817 Shelley and Mary had deter- 
mined to quit Marlow, and their chief cause for this 
decision was that his health had suffered during their 
tenancy : the house, so Mary complained, was very 
damp, and the books in the library were mildewed. 
It was necessary, however, to let the house before 
they could arrange to leave it, and this Shelley managed 
to do, according to Miss Clairmont's diary, on Janu- 
ary 25, 1818. 


Shelley in England 

He appears to have left Marlow for London on 
February 7th. Clare followed with William and 
Allegra on the 8th, and Mary departed with her baby 
on the following day. 

Before he quitted Marlow Shelley raised a sum of 
2000 from William Willatts of Fore Street, Cripple- 
gate, to whom he undertook to pay, within three 
calendar months after the death of his father, Sir 
Timothy Shelley, a sum of 4500. 

In connection with this transaction Shelley signed 
the following letter : * 

P. B. Shelley to William Willats 

SIR, You having lent me on security a sum of 
Money and Insured my Life the Policy of which In- 
surance will be void if I leave England without giving 
you notice so that you may increase your insurance 
if you think fit, I hereby promise you not to leave 
England without giving you sufficient previous Notice 
for that purpose. 

I am, Sir, 

Your Obedt. Serv'., 


LONDON, Jan. 31, 1818. 

Witness : Wm. Richardson, Clement's Inn. 

George Adams, Fore Street. 

Thos. Dignam, Clerk to Wm. Richardson, 
Clement's Inn. 

1 The signature and date only of this letter are in Shelley's handwriting. 



On arriving in London the Shelleys went to lodgings 
at Great Russell Street, Covent Garden, the street in 
which the Lambs were then living. Their days were 
fully occupied with leave-takings and with preparations 
for their visit to Italy. Although Shelley anticipated 
a lengthy sojourn abroad, he hardly realised that he 
was taking final leave of England. Mary wrote in 
her diary, on March gth, " Christening the children/' 
who were taken to St. Giles in the Fields, where the 
register records the baptisms, on that date, of William 
and Clara Everina, children of Percy Bysshe Shelley, 
Esq., and Mary Wollstonecraft his wife, of Great 
Marlow, co. Bucks, (late of Great Russell Street), the 
first born January 24, 1816, the second September 21, 
1817 ; also Clara Allegra, reputed daughter of Rt. 
Hon. George Gordon, Lord Byron, Peer, of no fixed 
residence, travelling on the Continent, by Clara Mary 
Jane Clairmont, born January 17, 1817. The offi- 
ciating clergyman was Charles Macarthy. Shelley's 
last days in London were spent in the society of his 
friends ; he saw Hunt, Hogg, Peacock, Horace Smith, 
and Keats. Hogg, who dined with Shelley in London 
on Sunday, February I5th, probably saw him for the 
last time on that occasion. On the eve of the Shelleys' 
departure, March loth, Mary Lamb called to say good- 
bye, and Peacock supped with them, after attending 
the first performance in England of Rossini's well- 

529 2L 

Shelley in England 

known // Barbiere di Siviglia ; Godwin, Leigh Hunt, 
and his wife were probably also of the party. During 
the evening Shelley was overcome by one of his pro- 
found slumbers, and the Hunts, unwilling to arouse 
him, went away without bidding him farewell. 



Shelley leaves England Lyons Allegra Byron and Miss 
Clairmont Shelley at Venice Death of Clara Rome William 
Shelley's death Leghorn Shelley's annus mirabilis Birth of 
Percy Florence Shelley Miss Stacey The Pisa circle The arrival 
of Leigh Hunt Shelley's death and burial His heart The re- 
ception of the news by Sir Timothy Miss Kitchener's death 
Gentleman's Magazine on Shelley Byron and Mary Sir Timothy's 
parsimony Mary's departure from Italy. 

SHELLEY and his travelling companions left London 
early on the morning of March nth, and, spending 
the night at Dover, they crossed to Calais on the 
following day. Lyons was reached on Saturday, 
March 2ist, where Shelley sent Byron a letter to inform 
him that Allegra had arrived thus far on her journey. 
Shelley wrote again to Byron from Milan in April 
inviting him to come and take charge of Allegra ; 
Clare also wrote to him, consenting to surrender 
the child to its father. Clare agreed, notwithstand- 
ing the fact that Byron had stated he could only 
receive Allegra on the stipulation that her parting 
with the child should be final. Shelley in the mean- 
time had heard some gossip about Byron's mode of 
life at Venice, and he endeavoured, but without avail, 

Shelley in England 

to dissuade Clare from giving the child into its father's 
care. On April 28th Mary's Swiss maid, Elise, left 
Milan with Allegra for Venice, and remained there as 
her nurse. It was not until August that Shelley and 
Byron met again. Clare, who had received some 
letters about Allegra from Elise, longed to see the 
child, and persuaded Shelley to take her to Venice, 
in the hope that Byron would relent. Clare remained 
with some friends while Shelley went alone to call on 
Byron, who gave him a warm welcome, and, believing 
that Clare was at Padua, he consented that the child 
should visit her mother at that place for a week. 
Byron took Shelley in his gondola to the Lido, where 
horses were in waiting for them, and they rode along 
the sands talking. " Our conversation," wrote 
Shelley, 1 " consisted in histories of his wounded 
feelings, and questions as to my affairs, and great 
professions of friendship and regard for me. He said, 
that if he had been in England at the time of the 
Chancery affair, he would have moved heaven and 
earth to have prevented such a decision." This 
memorable ride on the Lido, " the bank of land which 
breaks the flow of Adria towards Venice," was after- 
wards immortalised by Shelley in his Julian and 
Maddalo. Byron, who had a high regard for Shelley 
as a man and a poet, offered him the use of his villa 

1 In his letter to Mary, August 23, 1818. 

The Paradise of Exiles 

at I Cappuccini, near Este. Mrs. Shelley, in her 
notes to her husband's poem for 1818, has described 
this villa as " built on the site of a Capuchin convent, 
demolished when the French suppressed religious 
houses ; it was situated on the very overhanging 
brow of a low hill at the foot of a range of higher 
ones. The house was cheerful and pleasant ; a vine- 
trellised walk a pergola, as it is called in Italian 
led from the hall door to a summer-house at the end 
of the garden, which Shelley made his study, and in 
which he began the Prometheus ; and here also, as 
he mentions in a letter, he wrote Julian and Maddalo. 
A slight ravine, with a road in its depth, divided the 
garden from the hill, on which stood the ancient 
castle of Este, whose dark, massive walls gave forth 
an echo, and from whose ruined crevices owls and bats 
flitted forth at night, as the crescent moon sank 
behind the black and heavy battlements. We looked 
from the garden over the wide plain of Lombardy, 
bounded to the west by the fair Apennines, while to 
the east the horizon was lost in the misty distance. 
After the picturesque, but limited, view of mountain, 
ravine, and chestnut wood at the Baths of Lucca, 
there was something infinitely gratifying to the eye 
in the wide range of prospect commanded by our new 

To this place Mary set out on August 3ist, but her 

Shelley in England 

little girl, Clara, was taken ill on the journey, and when 
she arrived the child's condition was serious. On 
September 24th Shelley and Mary took Clara to Venice, 
but as soon as they reached that place she showed 
symptoms of increased weakness. A physician was 
summoned, but he could do nothing for the little 
patient, who expired shortly after, and was buried 
the following day on the Lido. 

The Shelleys spent the winter in Naples, and in the 
spring of 1819 they visited Rome ; but they protracted 
their visit too long, and at the beginning of June 
they were still there. The climate which was respon- 
sible for Clara's death brought on a fever which also 
proved fatal to little William Shelley. He was only 
ill for a few days, but his case was hopeless from the 
first. While he lingered, his father watched by his 
bedside for sixty hours without closing his eyes. On 
Monday, June 7th, at noon, the day on which Shelley 
and Mary had arranged to leave Rome for Leghorn, 
the child died, and was laid in a nameless grave in 
the English burial-ground at Rome, near the Porta 
San Paolo. William Shelley's dust rests in the same 
earth that covers the mortal remains of Keats. Some 
months later Shelley gave instructions for a monu- 
ment to be placed over the child's grave, and as he 
was not in Rome at the time to superintend the work, 
the stone was placed over the body of an adult. This 


The Paradise of Exiles 

accident was afterwards discovered when it was de- 
sired to move the child's body and place it beside 
the father's ashes in the adjoining cemetery. 

Shelley and Mary were anxious to escape from Rome, 
with its painful associations of the presence and loss 
of their only child. Their friends, the Gisbornes, were 
living 'at Leghorn, and in order to be near them the 
Shelleys took, for three months, the Villa Valsovano, 
a small house in the neighbourhood of the town. Here 
Shelley, in his little glazed-roof study, " Scythrop's 
Tower " (as he named it, after Peacock's " Night- 
mare Abbey "), at the top of the house, attempted, 
by means of literary work, to chase away his grief. 
There he wrote his tragedy The Cenci, a task which, 
he told Peacock, had occupied him for two months, 
and of which the first rough draft was finished on 
August 8th. He also completed the Prometheus Un- 
bound, begun at Este, as far as the third act. The 
fourth act, which was an afterthought that occurred 
to him at Florence, was completed by the end of 
December. The year 1819 was Shelley's annus mira- 
bilis ; his literary activities at Leghorn included yet 
another achievement, namely, a poem in quite an- 
other strain, the delightful conversation piece of 
Julian and Maddalo. As Professor Dowden says : 
' ' To have created such poems as Prometheus and The 
Cenci in one year is an achievement without parallel 


Shelley in England 

in English poetry since Shakespeare lived and 

But the Villa Valsovano was a sad place without the 
children and with Mary's melancholy, which followed 
on the death of William. Her grief was alleviated 
by the birth of a boy on November I2th at Florence, 
where she, Shelley, and Clare had gone at the be- 
ginning of October. Shelley, in announcing this 
event to his friend Leigh Hunt, wrote on November 
13 th : " Yesterday morning Mary brought me a little 
boy. She suffered but two hours' pain, and is now so 
well that it seems a wonder that she stays in bed. 
The babe is also quite well, and has begun to suck. 
You may imagine that this is a great relief and a 
great comfort to me amongst all my misfortunes, past, 
present, and to come. . . . Poor Mary begins (for the 
first time) to look a little consoled ; for we have spent, 
as you imagine, a miserable five months." The child, 
who was named Percy Florence, succeeded his grand- 
father, Sir Timothy Shelley, on his death in April 
1844, as third baronet. 

Shortly before Percy's birth, Miss Sophia Stacey, 
with Miss Jones, her travelling companion, arrived in 
Florence from Sussex. Mrs. Angeli informs us in her 
book, Shelley and his Friends in Italy, that Miss 
Stacey was the youngest daughter of Mr. Flint Stacey 
of Sittingbourne, and, on the death of her father, she 


The Paradise of Exiles 

became a ward of Shelley's uncle, Mr. Robert Parker. 
During her residence with Mr. Parker at Bath she 
said she had naturally heard much of Shelley, and, 
as Mary told Mrs. Gisborne in a letter, Miss Stacey 
"was enthousiasmee to see him." Two days after her 
arrival she called at the Palazzo Marini, and learnt 
that Shelley, his wife, and Miss Clairmont were staying 
there. Miss Stacey kept a diary, from which Mrs. 
Angeli has given in her book a charming and unex- 
pected sidelight on Shelley's life at Florence. Miss 
Stacey wrote some years later : "I shall never forget 
his personal appearance. His face was singularly 
engaging, with strongly marked intellectuality. His 
eyes were, however, the most striking portion of his 
face, blue and large and of a tenderness unsurpassed. 
In his manner there was an almost childish simplicity 
combined with much refinement." She tells us that 
Shelley kept a carriage but no horses, " being more 
humane to keep fellow-creatures." She was struck 
by the quiet life of the poet and his wife, who did not 
mix with their fellow-countrymen at Florence. Miss 
Stacey seemed to take pleasure in listening to his 
talk on the Established Church and Radicalism, on 
Love, Liberty, and Death. He spoke to her of his 
sisters, of his youthful adventures, discoursed on 
authors and music, and desired to be remembered to 
his uncle, Mr. Parker. She also noted his studious 


Shelley in England 

habits and his devotion to books. " He is always 
reading, and at night has a little table with pen and 
ink, she [Mary] the same." 

Shelley showed his baby, then two days old, to Miss 
Stacey, and remarked that, although it could do no 
mischief now, it might some day or other be the 
conqueror of provinces. And she then looked at a 
picture of William Shelley, and recognised the likeness 
to Lady Shelley, his grandmother. Miss Stacey de- 
lighted Shelley with her singing, and in return for the 
pleasure that he derived from it he gave her the verses 
" I arise from dreams of thee," and afterwards wrote 
in her pocket-book three songs " Good-night," 
" Love's Philosophy," and " Time Long Past." The 
poet undoubtedly admired his young friend, and, after 
hearing her frequently play on the harp, he wrote for 
her his beautiful lines, " Thou art fair, and few are 
fairer." He assisted her and her friend in making 
their preparations for leaving Florence, and went with 
them to look at the carriage that they had engaged 
to take them to Rome, the step of which being high, 
he gallantly lifted Miss Stacey to the ground. When 
the day arrived for their departure, Shelley rose early 
in order to see them off on their journey. 

Sir Timothy alluded to Miss Stacey's visit and to the 
birth of his grandson on January 18, 1820, in a letter 
from Bath to Mr. Whitton : 


The Paradise of Exiles 

" Some ladies travelling in Italy write to Bath that 
they met P. B. at Florence with an addition to his 
family of a Son : and with Lord Byron to whom he 
offer'd to introduce the ladies : which they declin'd. 
It is not likely he will soon visit England with so many 
unwelcome guests to ask how he does by a gentle tap." 

The statement that Byron was at Florence during 
Miss Stacey's visit was incorrect : he was, as a matter 
of fact, at Ravenna. Shelley had told Miss Stacey 
how much he should like his friend to hear her sing, 
and he wrote asking Byron to come, but he was pre- 
vented by illness from visiting Florence. 

The unwelcome guests mentioned in Sir Timothy's 
letters were his son's creditors, one of whom had that 
day applied for the payment of a small amount. Other 
creditors learnt of Shelley's prolonged absence abroad, 
and they also wrote to his father, who seems to have 
been much annoyed by their applications, with which 
he invariably declined to deal. Sir Timothy was 
troubled with the gout, and tried to get relief from his 
malady by a visit to Bath, where he stayed several 
months, and where he seems to have purchased a 
house. He was concerning himself at this time with 
the education of his second son, John Shelley, who was 
now a youth of fourteen. 

On January 26, 1820, the Shelleys left Florence, but 
before they departed their little boy, Percy Florence, 


Shelley in England 

was baptized by the Rev. John Harding, Rector of 
Coity, Glamorganshire, according to the forms ap- 
pointed by the United Church of England and Ireland 
for the ministration of private baptism of children 
in houses. A copy of the certificate of baptism was 
taken by Peacock, on August 15, 1822, to the Rector 
of St. James', Westminster, and entered in the register 
of that church of baptisms solemnised out of England. 
Sir Percy Shelley, in a letter dated January n, 1844, 
wrote in regard to his christening : " Miss Clairmont 
was present at my baptism. Mr. Hogg knew me when 
I was two years old." Mary added, in the same 
letter : " Mr. Leigh Hunt saw Percy just at the time 
of his father's death in Italy.' 1 

From Florence, Shelley and Mary went to Pisa, 
and there, in that ancient city, with its silent streets 
full of memories of the past, they spent on the whole 
a period of two years' tranquil happiness, broken by 
short occasional visits to Lucca and the Bagni di Pisa. 
Clare had obtained a situation in Florence, and her 
absence was a relief to Mary, who was able to indulge 
to some extent in her love of society. This proved 
no attraction to Shelley, who would not tolerate mere 
acquaintances, and he was prompted to say of his 
wife : " She can't bear solitude, nor I society the 
quick coupled to the dead." Much as Shelley disliked 
society, he was now the chief object of interest of a 



After a photograph in the possession of his only grand-daughter, 
Nobil Donna Zella Opezzo 

The Paradise of Exiles 

circle of sincere admirers, some of whom he himself 
regarded highly. In the summer of 1821 Edward 
Ellerker Williams and Jane Williams arrived at Pisa, 
and they soon became the intimate friends of Shelley 
and his wife. Williams had formerly been in the Navy, 
but having left that branch of the service, he obtained 
a commission in the 8th Dragoon Guards, and went 
to India. He returned to Europe with the lady to 
whom he was united, the Jane whose rare beauty 
moved Shelley to write some of his most inspired 
lyrics. Edward John Trelawny came to Pisa early 
in 1822, and was joined shortly after by Byron, and 
Thomas Medwin, Shelley's cousin and schoolfellow. 
Medwin was a bore, with literary aspirations, but he 
had an admiration for Shelley, who, though not 
usually long-suffering where bores were concerned, 
treated him with his accustomed kindness. 1 It was 
otherwise with Byron, whose companionship soon made 
Pisa intolerable to Shelley. The necessity of finding 
a more temperate situation for the summer months, 
and probably some desire to escape from Byron's 
society, led Shelley to take a house, the Casa Magni, 
situated on the seashore at Lerici, in the Bay of 

1 This period of Shelley's life has been very fully recorded by Trelawny in 
his excellent Recollections, Records, and in his Letters, edited by Mr. H. 
Buxton Forman ; by Medwin in his Life of Shelley, which Mr. Forman 
has also recently re-edited ; in Williams' interesting Diary, and in 
Mrs. Angeli's Shelley and his Friends in Italy. 


Shelley in England 

Spezzia . Thither the Shelley s moved with the Williams' s 
on April 26, 1822. It was a somewhat desolate place 
for Mary after Pisa, and she chafed at the solitude ; 
but Shelley found it entirely to his liking. Early in 
the year Trelawny, with Captain Roberts, had super- 
intended the building for Shelley at Genoa of the fatal 
boat, a small schooner, afterwards named the Ariel, 
which was duly brought round to Lerici. 

Leigh Hunt arrived at Leghorn towards the end of 
June with his wife and family, after an interminable 
voyage from England. He came at the invitation of 
Lord Byron to found and edit a quarterly magazine, 
afterwards known as the Liberal. Shelley, who had 
been looking forward to meeting his friend, left Lerici 
on July ist with Williams in the Ariel, and spent a 
week at Leghorn and Pisa, mostly in Hunt's company. 
His last verses, in which he welcomed Leigh Hunt 
to Italy, unfortunately have been lost. 

The tragic story of the deaths of Shelley and Williams 
is familiar to everyone. On the afternoon of July 
8th, a day of extreme heat, after taking a last farewell 
of Leigh Hunt, they set sail for Lerici, but they never 
reached their destination. A violent storm swept 
over the sea shortly after they were on their way, 
and the boat was obscured from the view of Captain 
Roberts, who, from the top of the lighthouse at Leg- 
horn, was watching the vessel on her homeward track. 


The Paradise of Exiles 

When the storm-cloud lifted, Roberts looked again, 
and observed every other vessel that he had seen in 
the Ariel's company, but she was no longer visible. 
After some days of agonising suspense, on July i8th, 
Shelley's body was cast up on the shore near Via 
Reggio ; that of Williams had been recovered some 
three miles distant on the previous day. The bodies 
were buried temporarily on the shore near to where 
they had been discovered, and in order to effect their 
removal, they were disinterred some days later and 
cremated, according to the Tuscan law. On August 
I4th the remains of Williams were burnt, and on the 
day following the ceremony was repeated with Shelley's 
body by Trelawny, in the presence of Byron and 
Leigh Hunt. Shelley's cremation was described in 
detail both by Trelawny and Hunt. They related 
that, when the rest of his body had been reduced to 
ashes, his heart remained unconsumed, and it was 
snatched by Trelawny from the burning embers and 
given to Hunt, who afterwards resigned it to Mary 

After Mary's death Shelley's heart was found, 
wrapped in a silken shroud, between the leaves of her 
copy of the Pisa edition of Adonais, and the relic was 
afterwards enclosed in a silver case. When Sir Percy 
Shelley was buried, on December 10, 1889, in his 
mother's grave at St. Peter's, Bournemouth, the poet's 


Shelley in England 

heart was interred with him. Many years previously 
Lady Shelley had told Mr. Walter Withall of Bedford 
Row (a friend of Sir Percy's), that she particularly 
wished him to see that the heart was placed in Sir 
Percy's coffin in the event of her predeceasing her 
husband. She also told him that the heart was kept 
in a cushion or pillow, which she always carried with 
her whenever she travelled. 1 

Two books were found in Shelley's pockets when his 
body was recovered : Keats's Lamia, of which only 
the binding remained, and this was thrown on the 
pyre ; and a volume of Sophocles, now in the Bod- 
leian. Trelawny afterwards placed Shelley's ashes 
in an oak casket, which was sent to Rome and in- 
terred in the English Cemetery in January 1823. In 
the spring of that year Trelawny visited Shelley's 
grave, and seeing that it was overcrowded, he moved 
the ashes to their present resting-place in the adjoining 

The first intimation of the death of Shelley to reach 
England was contained in the following characteristic 
letter written by Leigh Hunt to his sister-in-law, Miss 
Elizabeth Kent, which arrived in London not later 

1 When Shelley House, Chelsea, was burgled, the thieves broke into 
Lady Shelley's boudoir and threw the cushion on the floor, and Lady 
Shelley remarked to Mr. Walter Withall that it was very fortunate it had 
not been taken. It was on this occasion that she gave him the above 
directions and showed him the pillow. 


The Paradise of Exiles 

than the second or third day in August. The com- 
munication for Hunt's brother, John, for the Examiner, 
duly appeared in the next issue of that paper. 

Leigh Hunt to Elizabeth Kent x 

PISA, zoth July 1822. 

DEAREST BESSY, Your sister is as well as she can 
be expected to be ; so am I, and the children ; all 
which I tell you at once, at the head of my letter, lest 
the frightful note I am compelled to strike up, should 
affect you still more than it must. Good God ! how 
shall I say it ? My beloved friend Shelley, my dear, 
my divine friend, the best of friends and men he is 
no more. I know not how to proceed from anguish ; 
but you need not be under any alarm for me. Thank 
Heaven ! the sorrows that I have gone through 
enable me to bear this ; and we all endeavour to bear 
it as well as possible for each other's sakes, which is 
what he, the noble-minded being, would have wished. 
Would to God I could see him his spirit sitting this 
moment by the table. I think it would no more 
frighten me than the sight of my baby, whom I kiss 
and wonder why he has not gone with him. 

He was returning to Lerici by sea with his friend 
Captain Williams, who is said also to have been a most 
amiable man, and appeared so. It was on the 8th a 
storm arose ; and it is supposed the boat must have 
foundered not far from home. The bodies were thrown 
up some days after. Dear S. had retained a book in 
his pocket, which he told me he would not part with 
till he saw me again, Keats's last publication. He 

1 From Leigh Hunt's Correspondence ', vol. i. p. 189. 

545 2M 

Shelley in England 

borrowed it to read as he went. It will be buried with 
him : that is to say, it is so already, on the sea-shore ; 
but if he is taken up to be buried elsewhere, it shall 
go with him. Mr. Williams, too, left a wife, who was 
passionately fond of him. Conceive the terrible state 
in which the women are ; but none of us I trust have 
known Shelley for nothing : the Williams doted on 
him ; and I know what to say ; but rely upon me, 
I fear nothing. I am cooler in general than while 
writing this, and besides the patience to which I have 
been accustomed, 1 must work hard for our new pub- 
lication, which will still go on. Lord B. is very kind. 

Pray, show or send Hogg this letter for him to see ; 
and tell him I would have written him a separate one, 
but at present I am sure he will spare it me. I had 
already begun to enliven Shelley's hours with accounts 
of his pleasant sayings, and hoped to but, good God ! 
how are one's most confident expectations cut short ! 
I embrace him as my friend and Shelley's. 

Adieu, dearest Bessy, you will not wonder that I 
do not make this letter an answer to your last, which 
I was delighted to receive. It showed me you were 
well, and Henry out of danger. 

Pray, send the following to my brother for the 

Your ever most affectionate friend, 


The news was soon abroad. Whit ton knew of it on 
August 3rd ; Godwin heard of it a day later, and on 
August 6th he wrote to Mary : "I heard only two 
days ago the most afflicting intelligence to you, and 
in some measure to all of us, that can be imagined 


The Paradise of Exiles 

the death of Shelley on the 8th ultimo. I have had 
no direct information, the news only comes in a letter 
from Leigh Hunt to Miss Kent, and, therefore, were it 
not for the consideration of the writer, I should be 
authorised to disbelieve it. That you should be so 
overcome as not to be able to write is perhaps only 
too natural ; but that Jane [Clare] could not write 
one line I could never have believed." 1 

It is noticeable that Godwin abstained from ex- 
pressing any personal regret at Shelley's death. He 
had no word to say of the man who, in order to 
assist him, had impaired his fortune. Godwin, who 
did not understand his son-in-law, and set little 
value on his poetry, is said to have once remarked, 
on the evidence of Charles Clairmont, after seeing him 
in the street, " that Shelley was so beautiful, it is a 
pity he was so wicked " ; and Mary wrote to Mrs 
Gisborne some years later : " Papa loves not the 
memory of Shelley, because he feels that he injured 

Apparently the earliest public announcement of 
Shelley's death was Leigh Hunt's contribution to 
the Examiner (given below), which appeared on 
August 4, 1822, the thirtieth anniversary of the poet's 
birth. The notice was quoted on August 5th in the 

1 Life and Letters of Mary W. Shelley, by Mrs. Julian Marshall, vol. 
p. 6. 


Shelley in England 

Morning Chronicle, and perhaps other newspapers 
also copied it. 

" Those who know a great mind when they meet 
with it, and who have been delighted with the noble 
things in the works of Mr. Shelley, will be shocked to 
hear that he has been cut off in the prime of his life 
and genius. He perished at sea, in a storm, with his 
friend Captain Williams, of the Fusiliers, on the even- 
ing of the 8th ult., somewhere off Via Reggio, on the 
coast of Italy, between Leghorn and the Gulf of 
Spezzia. He- had been to Pisa to do a kind action, and 
he was returning to his country abode at Lerici to 
do another. Such was the whole course of his life. 
Let those who have known such hearts and have lost 
them, judge of the grief of his friends. Both he and 
Captain Williams have left wives and children. Cap- 
tain Williams was also in the prime of life and a most 
amiable man, beloved like his friend. The greatest 
thing we can say in honour of his memory (and we 
are sure he would think so), is, that he was worthy 
to live with his friend and to die with him. Vale, 
dilectissime hominum ! Vale dilectissime ; et nos 
ama, ut dixisti, in sepulchro." 

As stated before, Whitton knew of Shelley's death 
on August 3rd, for on that date he communicated the 
news to Sir Timothy, and he wrote again on the same 
subject on August 5th, having no doubt in the mean- 


The Paradise of Exiles 

time seen the Examiner notice. The lawyer's letters 
are not forthcoming, 1 but Sir Timothy's reply which 
follows shows more anxiety for his younger son John's 
future career than for the loss of his elder son. 

Sir Timothy Shelley to William Whitton 


Aug. 6, 1822. 

MY DEAR SIR, The Sting of Death has its effects. 
God's will be done ! Tho' we have it from the Public 
Papers only at present, such catastrophies are apt to 
be too true. 

In regard to the enquiries you mention, I leave to 
you. John at present requires a steady young man 
as his Tutor, where, if He could be found to form a 
Friendship with Instruction, and masters for em- 

I was most perfectly satisfied with Mr. Warnford, 
but the Clergyman of the Parish form'd a Friendship 
for John and I fear has not been that Friend that 
could be wished, His prospects being held up to him 
that do not accord with my wishes. Could I beg of 
you to write to me that John might see the letter that 
this unforeseen event has. chang'd the face of circum- 
stances in my family, that he must think of something 
in order to better his condition in Life. 

It is wonderful what artful men there are in the 
world, and those whom you may consider Friends 
confidentially are grounding the mischief of youth. 

May I once more request to hear from you upon 
the above subject, it wd. be of Service at this period 

1 Mr. Whitton's letter-book for this period is missing. 


Shelley in England 

of Time. Lady Shelley and my Family offer their 
best Compts. 

Believe me, My dear Sir, 

Yrs. most Faithfully, 


I open'd the letter that I omitted to mention I had 
form'd the intention of sending John to a Gentleman 
at Sutton Coldfield, Nr. Birmingham, and was abt. 
to take him, He takes 4 only, but we see Private Tutors 
cannot keep youth in order where there are others. 
I must find some person if possible, whatever I do 
about this gentleman. He is highly spoken of by a 
friend of mine. 

With Sir Timothy's next communication to Whitton 
(August 8th) he sent him two letters. One was from 
Shelley's friend T. L. Peacock, and the co-executor 
with Byron of the poet's will, giving Sir Timothy the 
first personal intimation of his son's death, to which 
he seems to have been quite prepared to resign him- 
self, although he displayed some concern for his suit 
of mourning. The other letter was from Mr. Holste, 
who wrote on behalf of the representatives of the late 
Miss Kitchener. Sir Timothy concluded that Holste 
had written to him after having seen a public an- 
nouncement of the poet's death. 

Sir Timothy Shelley to W. Whitton 


Aug. 8, 1822. 

DEAR SIR, I have given up my intention going 
to London at present, not having my mourning, and 


The Paradise of Exiles 

the etiquette here not to appear in Public, except in 
case of necessity until we have been to Church : and 
under the peculiar circumstances the general accepta- 
tion of the world may be set at rest in regard to the 

I have therefore enclos'd you the letters. I have 
no knowledge of either of the Gentlemen. 

I have not written even to Mr. Peacock. I men- 
tion'd before, if it seem'd right to give him a line to 
thank him for the communication being the only 
information, but thro' the Public Papers. 

The other Gentleman must have seen the account, 
tho' he does not give any hint of it, but after so long 
a period writes to me. 

This Miss Kitchener was a School Mistress and after 
Bysshe was married, went to see them. He knew 
her first at Cuckfield, when he was at Captn. Pilfold's 
before he married. 

I have no doubt but you will find both the marriages 
correct. He was particular in that respect I sup- 
pose there will require some arrangement when 
matters are understood. 

To lose an eldest son in his life time and the un- 
fortunate manner of his losing that life, is truely melan- 
choly to think of, but as it has pleas'd the Great Author 
of our Being so to dispose of him I must make up my 
mind with resignation. 

Believe me yrs. most truly and faithfully, 



No. 3, King's Road, 

Bedford Row, London. 


Shelley in England 

T. L. Peacock to Sir Timothy Shelley 

Aug. 6, 1822. 

SIR, I am sorry to be the medium of conveying 
to you the afflicting intelligence which I have this day 
received in a letter from a friend of Mrs. Shelley in 
Italy, in which country your son has resided during 
the last four years. In that letter I am requested to 
communicate to you the melancholy tidings of his 
having perished at sea, in a storm, while proceeding 
along the coast in an open boat from Pisa to Lerici. 
He had not insured his life, and his widow and her 
infant son are left without any provision. 
I have the honour to be, Sir, 

Your most obedient servant, 


H. Holste to Sir Timothy Shelley 

LONDON, Aug. 6, 1822. 

SIR, I hope you will excuse the liberty I take in 
addressing you respecting a Debt owing by your Son 
Mr. Percy B. Shelley to the Estate of the late Miss 
Kitchener of Edmonton. I am the Executor and 
have written to Mr. Shelley at Pisa, where I am in- 
formed he is at present residing, but have not received 
any answer. 

The Debt amounts to 100, which Miss Kitchener 
lent him in June 1812 and which he has subsequently 
engaged to repay. 

The documents relating thereto are in my posses- 
sion, and also many letters from him and his family. 


The Paradise of Exiles 

I make this humble appeal to you, on behalf of the 
Creditors and under the conviction that you would 
be so kind to settle this trifle, and should you wish 
to have the documents inspected by any one here in 
Town I shall with pleasure lay them before such a 
person as you may be pleased to appoint ; and in the 
hope of a favorable reply, 

I remain most respectfully, 

Your most obd. and humble Servt., 


etc., etc., etc., 

Horsham . 

There is no mention of a loan from Miss Kitchener 
to Shelley in his correspondence with her during June 
1812. In his letter, however, of June nth, he asked 
Miss Kitchener if she had enough money for her journey 
to Wales, where she had decided to visit him and his 
wife, and if she had not, he said that he would remit 
some as soon as an amount of 50, then due to him, 
should arrive. One other reference to money, in 
Shelley's letters to Miss Kitchener at this time, is 
contained in his letter to her of June i8th. He con- 
templated taking a cottage, recommended by Godwin, 
at Chepstow, and he proposed to journey there with 
his wife and sister-in-law, Eliza, who was to remain 
at the cottage while Shelley and Harriet travelled 
across the country to Sussex, where they proposed to 


Shelley in England 

pick up Miss Kitchener and to take her back with 
them. Shelley calculated that on arriving at Chep- 
stow a sum of 13 would remain to him, with which 
he would defray the journey to Hurst. But for the 
expenses of their return to Chepstow as Shelley said, 
" We shall be penniless " he would depend upon Miss 
Kitchener's exertions with a certain Mr. Howell. The 
journey to Chepstow was not undertaken, but it is 
just possible that Miss Kitchener may have sent him 
the 100 to which Holste referred, although the 
amount may have been one year's instalment of the 
allowance mentioned below. 

Miss Kitchener did not join the Shelleys until 
after July I4th, on which date she visited the 
Godwins on her journey through London to Lyn- 
mouth, where they had moved in the meantime. She 
left the Shelleys' household about November 8, 1812, 
and Harriet, in writing from Stratford-on-Avon to 
Catherine Nugent on November I4th, said : "It was 
a long time ere we could possibly get her [Miss 
Kitchener] away, till at last Percy said he would give 
her 100 per annum. And now, thank God, she has 
left us never more to return." Shelley wrote to Hogg 
on December 3, 1812 : " The Brown Demon, as we 
call our late tormentor and schoolmistress, must re- 
ceive her stipend . . . certainly she is embarrassed 
and poor. ..." 


The Paradise of Exiles 

After her departure from the Shelleys' Miss Kitchener 
returned to Sussex, where the " Newspaper Editor," 
who contributed his reminiscences of Shelley to 
Fraser's Magazine, " saw her at the house of her 
father, sitting alone with one of Shelley's works before 
her. Her fine black eye lighted up, her well-formed 
Roman countenance was full of animation, when I 
spoke of Shelley." Medwin spoke of her as "an 
esprit fort, ceruleanly blue," who " fancied herself a 
poetess. I only know of one anecdote," he said, 
" which Shelley used to relate, laughing till the tears 
ran down his cheeks. She perpetrated an ode, proving 
that she was a great stickler for the rights of her sex, 
the first line of which ran thus : 

" * All, all are men women and all ! ' " 

Mr. T. J. Wise tells me that Mr. Henry James Slack 
gave him the following information concerning Miss 
Hitchener from his personal knowledge. He said that 
she subsequently became governess to the children 
of a gentleman who held some official position, probably 
in the diplomatic service, and she accompanied his 
family to the Continent. Before she left England, 
however, she deposited with Mr. Slack, Shelley's letters 
to her, together with transcripts of some of hers to 
Shelley, and that these papers were never reclaimed. 
While abroad Miss Hitchener made the acquaintance, 


Shelley in England 

and afterwards married, an officer in the Austrian 
service, but she parted from him soon after, and, re- 
turning to England, assumed her maiden name. She 
then appears to have gone to Edmonton, where, with 
the aid of her sisters, she kept a school and earned the 
esteem of her pupils. She left no will, but from a 
search made at Somerset House it appears that on 
the 8th March 1822, Letters of Administration of the 
goods, chattels, and credits of Elizabeth Kitchener, 
late of Edmonton in the county of Middlesex, Spinster, 
deceased, were granted to Thomas Kitchener, her 
natural and lawful father. The estate was sworn at 
450 ; the date of her death is not mentioned. 

As some misstatements have been made with regard 
to Mr. Slack, it may be as well to say that he was 
at one time editor of the Intellectual Observer, the 
" Little John " of the Weekly Times, author of Marvels 
of Pond Life, The Philosophy of Progress, and other 
books. He died June 16, 1896, and is described in 
his will as barrister-at-law. 

Miss Kitchener's maiden name appears on the title- 
page of a poem in blank verse entitled The Weald of 
Sussex, which bears the date of 1822. Another volume 
from her pen, The Fireside Bagatelle, containing enigmas 
of the chief towns of England and Wales, had been 
previously published in 1818. If the correspondence 
of Shelley with Miss Kitchener, to which Mr. Holste 


The Paradise of Exiles 

referred, was the same as that in Mr. Slack's hands, 
or which came into his keeping afterwards, the letters 
acknowledging the debt are not forthcoming. Some 
forty years later Mr. Slack showed the letters to Mr. 
W. M. Rossetti, who was the first to examine and 
transcribe them. 1 

Among the few contemporary statements of Shelley's 
death, the following appeared in the Gentleman's 
Magazine for September 1822. It was evidently 
written by someone better acquainted with the facts 
of the poet's death than with his work and aims. 


"July 8th. Supposed to have perished at sea in a 
Storm somewhere off Via Reggio on the coast of Italy 
between Leghorn and the Gulf of Spezzia, Percy 
Bysshe Shelley, Esq. 

" He went out a sailing in a little schooner in company 
with his friend Captain Williams son of Captain John 

1 Mr. D. F. MacCarthy, in his Early Life of Shelley, 1872, made 
considerable use of these letters, but they were first printed fully for 
private circulation in 1890 by Mr. T. J. Wise, and were published later, 
in 1908, by the late Mr. Bertram Dobell with an interesting introduction. 
The letters were afterwards included in the present writer's edition of 
Shelley's correspondence, 1909, after collation with the originals, which 
made it possible to restore some passages hitherto unprinted. On the 
death of Mr. Slack, the Shelley-Hitchener letters came into the hands of 
his widow, who bequeathed them to the Rev. Charles Hargrove, the 
husband of her niece, with the request that he should leave the letters 
to the British Museum. Mr. Hargrove did not keep the manuscripts long 
in his possession, but generously presented them to the Museum in 1907. 


Shelley in England 

Williams of the Hon. East India Company Bengal 
Infantry and lately exchanged from the 8th Dragoons 
to the 2ist Fusiliers. He had been to Pisa and was 
returning to his country abode at Lerici. The boat 
has since been found capsized. Mr. Shelley was the 
eldest son of Sir Timothy Shelley, Bart., M.A. of Uni- 
versity College Oxford of which Society his son was 
for a short time a member. He married a daughter 
of Mr. Godwin by the celebrated Mary Wolstonecraft 
and was an intimate friend of Lord Byron and Mr. 
Leigh Hunt. The wives of Mr. Shelley and Mr. Wil- 
liams were both at Leghorn overwhelmed with grief. 

" Mr. Shelley is unfortunately too well known for his 
infamous novels and poems. He openly professed 
himself an Atheist. His works bear the following 
titles : Prometheus chained, Alastor or the spirit of 
Solitude, and other poems 1816, Queen Mob, Cenci. 
It has been stated that Mr. Shelley had gone to Pisa 
to establish a periodical work with the assistance of 
Lord Byron and Mr. Leigh Hunt." 

This reference to the memory of England's greatest 
lyrical poet is mild compared with what followed in 
this periodical, which claimed to represent the inter- 
ests of gentlemen and to voice their views. Shortly 
after the appearance of the obituary notice quoted 
above, the editor of the Gentleman's Magazine seized 
an opportunity of assailing Shelley's memory in re- 
viewing an Elegy on his death by John Chalk Claris, 
a great admirer of the poet, who wrote under the 
pen-name of " Arthur Brooke/' 


The Paradise of Exiles 

" Mr. Brooke, an enthusiastic young man who has 
written some good but licentious verses, has here got up 
a collection of stanzas for the ostensible purpose ' of 
commemorating the talents and virtues of that highly 
gifted individual Percy Bysshe Shelley ' (Preface). 

" Concerning the talents of Mr. Shelley we know no 
more than that he published certain convulsive caper- 
ings of Pegasus labouring under cholic pains ; namely 
some purely fantastic verses in the bubble bubble toil 
and trouble style, and as to Mr. Shelley's virtues, if 
he belonged (as we understand he did) to a junta, 
whose writings tend to make our sons profligates, and 
our daughters strumpets, we ought as justly to regret 
the decease of the Devil (if that were possible) as of 
one of his coadjutors. 

" Seriously speaking however we feel no pleasure in 
the untimely death of this Tyro of the Juan school, 
that pre-eminent academy of Infidels Blasphemers 
Seducers and Wantons. We had much rather have 
heard that he and the rest of the fraternity had been 
consigned to the Monastery of La Trappe for correc- 
tion of their dangerous principles and expurgation of 
their corrupt minds. 

" Percy Bysshe Shelley is a fitter subject for the 
penitentiary dying speech than a lauding elegy, for 
a muse of the rope rather than that of the cypress ; 
the muse that advises us ' warning to take by others' 
harm and we shall do well.' ' 

If these, and other abusive articles on the poet, were 
not responsible for Sir Timothy's unfriendliness to 
Mary Shelley and her little boy, they no doubt helped 
to embitter him. 


Shelley in England 

But to return to Italy. About July 20th, im- 
mediately the fate of Shelley and Williams was known, 
Mary, Jane Williams, and Clare were taken by Tre- 
lawny to the Hunts' at Pisa, and there they remained 
during the early days of their mourning. Trelawny 
was unceasing in his efforts to help and comfort them, 
and Leigh Hunt and his wife also were ever ready with 
their sympathy and kind attentions. Shelley's widow 
and the Hunts having agreed to settle together at Genoa 
for several months, Mary set out from Pisa with Jane 
Williams for that place, towards the middle of Sep- 
tember, in order to seek for a suitable house. She had 
promised at the same time to find a house for Byron, 
and she took for him the Casa Saluzzo at Albaro, near 
Genoa, and the Casa Negroto close by for the Hunts 
and herself. Clare had previously left Pisa for Vienna 
to join her brother Charles, and Mrs. Williams did 
not remain long at Genoa ; she left for London on 
September lyth. Consequently Mary remained with 
her boy at the Hunts', intending also to return to 
England, but realised that, when she was able to 
do so, she could not reasonably be a burden on her 

Mary cherished hopes that Sir Timothy would help 
her for the sake of her boy, but, as she wrote on 
September iyth to Mrs. Gisborne, " when my crowns 
are gone, if Sir Timothy refuses, I hope to be able 


The Paradise of Exiles 

to support myself by my writings and mine own 
Shelley's MSS." 

Byron, who at length arrived at Genoa, had been very 
kind to Mary at Pisa, where he had visited her from 
week to week. When she saw him again, for two hours, 
after an absence of a month, the sound of his voice 
awakened melancholy thoughts of days that were gone. 
It carried her memory back to the visit at Geneva in 
1816, where, at the Villa Diodati, she had listened to 
long conversations between him and Shelley ; and now, 
when she heard Byron speak, she listened, as it were, 
in expectation of hearing the other voice that was for 
ever silenced. 

Byron's character was a strange mixture of generosity 
and meanness. He had behaved generously to Leigh 
Hunt in his capacity as Editor of the Liberal, as well 
as to John Hunt the printer of that ill-fated magazine, 
by making to it several notable contributions. It 
is true that he expected to obtain profit by the 
venture, but having given it his support, though he 
soon had misgivings as to its chances of success, he 
did not hesitate to carry out his promise liberally. 
Moreover, after a coolness with Murray, Byron en- 
trusted to John Hunt the publication of Don Juan 
from Canto VI. to the end, and Hunt henceforth 
published anything that came from the pen of the 
poet, who found him " a sensible, plain, sturdy, en- 

561 2 N 

Shelley in England 

during person." l Byron sympathised with Mary ; 
as the friend of Shelley, whose death he sincerely 
lamented, and as one of the executors of the poet's 
will, he was anxious to help her. He therefore wrote 
to his solicitor, John Hanson, saying that he had de- 
sired Godwin to see him with regard to Shelley's 
affairs, and that he wished Hanson to apply to Whitton 
on behalf of Mrs. Shelley to ascertain if any provision 
had been made for her and her son. Byron added that 
he presumed that the last quarter of the allowance, 
due on September ist, would be paid, and he desired 
Hanson's opinion of Shelley's will, and his advice as to 
what had best be done in the circumstances. Hanson 
accordingly wrote to Whitton asking for an interview. 
Whitton, however, who, according to entries in his 
diary, replied to Hanson on November 22nd, and wrote 
again to him on the 27th, on December iyth declined 
to see him, and Hanson then made his application 
by letter as Whitton had requested. Mary wrote to 
Clare on December 2oth at this stage of the negotiations, 
" This does not look like an absolute refusal, but Sir 
Timothy is so capricious that we cannot trust to 
appearances." 2 On December i8th Sir Timothy had 
a consultation about Hanson's letters and Harriet's 
children with Whitton, who gave his advice and re- 

1 Byron to Moore, April 2, 1823 ; Prothero, vol. vi. 183. 
1 Life and Letters of Mary W. Shelley, by Mrs. Julian Marshall, vol. ii. 
p. 55- 


The Paradise of Exiles 

ceived Sir Timothy's instructions, which he communi- 
cated two days later to Hanson. The decision was 
apparently unfavourable to Mary's application, as 
Byron resolved to plead her cause himself, and ad- 
dressed a letter to Sir Timothy Shelley. It was one 
of Byron's generous acts, and the letter is an inter- 
esting one for the tribute which it contains to his lost 
friend. The letter does not appear to have been 
printed before, and is from a copy among the Shelley- 
Whitton papers. 

Lord Byron to Sir Timothy Shelley 

Jan. 7, 1823. 

SIR, 1 trust that the only motive of this letter will 
be sufficient apology, even from a stranger I had 
the honor of being the friend of the late Percy B. 
Shelley, and am still actuated by the same regard for 
his memory and the welfare of his family to which 
I beg leave to add my respect for yourself and his 
connections. My Solicitor lately made an application 
to Mr. Whitton a gentleman in your confidence, in 
favor of Mr. Shelley's Widow and child by his second 
marriage both being left by his untimely death entirely 

My intimacy with your late son and the circum- 
stances to me unknown 'till after his decease of my 
being named one of the Executors in a will which he 
left but which is of no avail at present and may 
perhaps be always unavailable seemed to justify this 
intrusion through a third person. I was unwilling to 


Shelley in England 

trouble you personally, for the subject is very painful 
to my feelings and must be still more so to yours 
I must now, however, respectfully submit to you, the 
totally destitute state of your daughter-in-law and her 
child, and I would venture to add that neither are 
unworthy your protection. Their wishes are by no 
means extravagant, a simple provision to prevent 
them from absolute want now staring them in the face 
is all that they seek and where can they look for it 
with propriety or accept it without bitterness 
except from yourself ? 

I am not sufficiently aware of Mr. Shelley's family 
affairs to know on what terms he stood with his family, 
nor if I were so should I presume to address you on 
that subject. But he is in his grave he was your 
Son and whatever his errors and opinions may have 
been they were redeemed by many good and noble 

Might I hope, Sir, that by casting an eye of kindness 
on his relict and her boy it would be a comfort to them 
it would one day be a comfort to yourself, for if 
ever he had been so unfortunate as to offend you, 
they are innocent ; but I will not urge the topic further 
and am far more willing to trust to your own feelings 
and judgment, than to any appeal which may be made 
to them by others. 

Mrs. Shelley is for the present residing near Genoa 
indeed she has not the means of taking a journey to 
England nor of remaining where she is without some 
assistance. That this should be derived from other 
sources than your protection, would be humiliating 
to you and to her but she has still hopes from your 
kindness let me add from your Justice to her and to 
your Grandchild. 


The Paradise of Exiles 

1 beg leave to renew my apology for intruding upon 
you, which nothing but the necessity of so doing would 
have induced, and have the honor to be, 
Your most obedient, 

Very humble Servant, 


To SIR T. SHELLEY, Bart., 
etc., etc. 

Sir Timothy sent Byron's letter to Whitton, with an 
intimation that he thought of allowing Mary a sum 
of 160 a year. 1 Whitton considered this proposal, 
wrote several letters to his client, and, finally, had a 
consultation with Sir Timothy, on February 4th, after 
he had received from John Hanson certificates of the 
marriage of Shelley with Mary Godwin and of the 
baptism of their son Percy Florence. The result of 
this conference was that Whitton prepared for Sir 
Timothy a reply to Byron's letter, in the light of a 
short abstract of the poet's will supplied by Hanson 
on February 4th, which letter he carefully read over 
to the baronet on the following day. Mrs. Marshall 
printed Sir Timothy's reply in her Life of Mary Shelley, 
but the following is given from the draft among the 
Shelley-Whitton papers, which bears some alterations 
in Whitton's handwriting, though the two copies are 
practically identical. 

1 Whitton's diary, January 29, 1823. 


Shelley in England 

Sir Timothy Shelley to Lord Byron 


Feb. 6, 1823. 

MY LORD, I have received your Lordship's letter, 
and my Solicitor Mr. Whitton has this day shewn to 
me copies oi certificates of the marriage of Mrs. Shelley 
and of the baptism of her little boy and also a short 
Abstract of my son's Will as the same have been 
handed to him by Mr. Hanson. 

The mind of my son was withdrawn from me and 
my immediate family by unworthy and interested 
individuals when he was about nineteen, and after a 
while he was led into a new Society and forsook his 
first associates. In this new Society he forgot every 
feeling of duty and respect to me and to Lady Shelley. 
Mrs. Shelley was, I have been told, the intimate friend 
of my son in the lifetime of his first wife and to the 
time of her death, and in no small degree as I suspect 
estranged my son's mind from his family and all his 
first duties in life. With that impression on my mind 
I cannot agree with your Lordship that tho' my son 
was most unfortunate that Mrs. Shelley is innocent 
on the contrary I think that her conduct was the 
very reverse of what it ought to have been and I must 
therefore decline all interference in matters in which 
Mrs. Shelley is interested. As to the child I am in- 
clined to afford the means of a suitable protection and 
care of him in this country : if he shall be placed 
with a person I shall approve. 

But your Lordship will allow me to say that the 
means I can furnish will be limited as I have important 
duties to perform towards others which I cannot for- 
get I have thus plainly told your Lordship my de- 


The Paradise of Exiles 

termination in the hope that I may be spared from all 
further correspondence on a subject so distressing to 
me and my family. 

With respect to the Will and certificates I have no 
observations to make. I have left them with Mr. 
Whitton, and if anything is necessary to be done with 
them on my part he will I am sure do it. 

I have the Honor, my Lord, to be your Lordship's 
most obedient humble servant, 


While Mary was waiting to hear the result of Byron's 
application to Sir Timothy she received a letter from 
her faithful and trusty friend Trelawny. He wrote : 
" There is not one now living has so tender a friend- 
ship for you as I have. I have the far greater 
claims on you, and I shall consider it as a breach of 
friendship should you employ any one else in services 
that I can execute. 

"' My purse, my person, my extremest means 
Lye all unlocked to your occasion.' 

I hope you know my heart so well as to make all 
professions needless." 

Mary was touched by this expression of friendship, 
which subsequently on Trelawny's part developed into 
something warmer, and she wrote in reply, on January 
20th, that she believed he was the best friend she had, 
and that most truly would she rather apply to him 
than to anyone else. But she considered for the 


Shelley in England 

present she was well off, having received 33 from the 
Liberal, besides still possessing a considerable residue 
of the money that she had brought from Pisa. She 
had enough to spare some for Clare. She added : 
" Lord Byron continues kind : he has made frequent 
offers of money. I do not want it as you see." 

Mary was naturally indignant at the proposal of 
her father-in-law, whose letter plainly showed, she 
said, in writing to Byron, by what mean principles 
Sir Timothy would be actuated in not offering her 
little boy " an asylum in his own house, but a beggarly 
provision under the care of a stranger. " She declared 
that, separated from the child, she should not survive 
ten days, though the sacrifice would be easy if it were 
necessary to die for his benefit. But the child was 
delicate, and required all his mother's love and solici- 
tude, and she would never -consent to part with him. 
Godwin, who saw a copy of Sir Timothy's letter, con- 
sidered that there was no need for him to counsel her 
to reject her father-in-law's proposition. It was a 
bitter blow to her expectations, and she soon realised 
that, stranded as she was in a foreign country without 
resources, it was expedient that she should return to 
England with as little delay as possible. Mary made 
her preparations, and on June gth she told Byron that 
she was ready to depart, and he promised to provide 
her with money and to make himself the necessary 


The Paradise of Exiles 

arrangements for the journey ; but he kept her wait- 
ing, and then chose to transact the negotiations through 
Leigh Hunt. Mary related these details to Jane 
Williams in a letter dated July 1823, an( i sa <id that 
Byron " gave such an air of unwillingness and sense 
of the obligation he conferred, as at last provoked 
Hunt to say that there was no obligation, since he 
owed me 1000." She added that while Byron was 
" still keeping up an appearance of amity with Hunt, 
he had written notes and letters so full of contempt 
against me and my lost Shelley that I could stand it no 
longer, and have refused to receive his still proffered 
aid for my journey." Mary, who was an inexperi- 
enced girl, not twenty-four when she was widowed, 
being unaccustomed to decide for herself, had out- 
worn Byron's patience by the incertitude of her plans. 
Perhaps he was vexed when she showed some irrita- 
tion at the failure of Byron's appeal to Sir Timothy ; 
at any rate he was out of humour with her, and he 
did not disguise it in the letter which follows. 

Lord Byron to Leigh Hunt 

June 28, 1823. 

DEAR H., I have received a note from Mrs. S. 
with a fifth or sixth change of plan, viz. not to make 
her journey at all, at least through my assistance on 
account of what she is pleased to call " estrangement, 
etc." On this I have little to say. The readiest 
mode now may be this, which can be settled between 


Shelley in England 

you and me without her knowing anything of the 

I will advance the money to you (I desired Mr. 
Kprkup] * to say what would enable her to travel 
" handsomely and conveniently in all respects " these 
were the words of my note this afternoon to him) on 
Monday you can then say that you have raised it 
as a loan on your own account no matter with whom 
or how and that you advance it to her which may 
easily be made the fact if you feel scrupulous by giving 
me a scrap of paper as your note of hand thus she will 
be spared any fancied humiliation. I am not aware 
of anything in the transaction which can render it 
obnoxious to yourself at least I am sure that there 
is no such intention on my part nor ever was in 
anything which had passed between us although 
there are circumstances so plausible and scoundrels 
so ready in every corner of the earth to give a colour 
of their own to everything the last observation is 
dictated by what you told me to-day to my utter 
astonishment it will however teach me to know 
my company better or not at all. 

And now pray do not apply or misapply directly 
or indirectly to yourself any of these observations. 

I knew you long before Mr. S. knew either you or 
me and you and two more of his friends are the 
only ones whom I can at all reflect upon as men whose 
acquaintance was honourable and agreeable. I have 

1 Seymour Kirkup was among those present at Shelley's funeral, on 
January 21, 1823, when his ashes were laid in the Protestant Cemetery at 
Rome. He was a friend of Trelawny, who described him as "an artist of 
superior taste," and he drew his portrait, which will be found in the 
Recollections of Shelley and Byron, 1858. Kirkup seems to have spent 
the best part of his life in Florence, where he was living in 1870, at the 
age of 82. See Trelawny's Letters, edited by Mr. H. Buxton Forman. 


The Paradise of Exiles 

one more thing to state which is that from this mo- 
ment I must decline the office of acting as his executor 
in any respect, and also all further connection with 
his family in any of its branches now or hereafter. 

There was something about a legacy of two thousand 
pounds which he had left me this of course I decline 
and the more so that I hear that his will is admitted 
valid : and I state this distinctly that in case of 
anything happening to me my heirs may be instructed 
not to claim it. 

Yours ever and truly, N. B. 

P.S. I enclose you Mr. K/s answer just received 
to my note of this afternoon. 

On July 23rd, two days before Mary quitted Genoa 
for England, she wrote to Mrs. Williams that Lord 
Byron, Trelawny, and Pierino Gambo had sailed for 
Greece on July 17 th. She did not see Byron before 
he left. " His unconquerable avarice," she said, 
" prevented his supplying me with money, and a 
remnant of shame caused him to avoid me. ... If 
he were mean, Trelawny more than balanced the 
moral account. His whole conduct during his last 
stay here has impressed us all with an affectionate 
regard, and a perfect faith in the unalterable goodness 
of his heart. They sailed together ; Lord Byron with 
10,000, Trelawny with 50, and Lord Byron cowering 
before his eye for reasons you shall hear soon." Poor 
as Trelawfiy was, he willingly lent Mary a sum to help 
her to defray the expenses of her homeward journey. 




Mary's return to London Frankenstein on the stage Mary and 
Sir Timothy Shelley's Posthumous Poems Their suppression 
Mary's allowance John Shelley's marriage Mary's negotiations 
with Sir Timothy Her visit to Paris Her illness Percy Florence 
Shelley and his grandfather False rumours of Mary's marriage 
Trelawny's suit rejected Mary's Wednesday evenings Death of 
William Godwin the younger Godwin's death His will Percy 
at Harrow And at Cambridge Shelley's collected Poems and 
Essays Mary and her son on the Continent Mary's death 
Characteristics of Sir Percy Shelley His death. 

THERE was nothing now to detain Mary in Italy ; 
indeed it was expedient that she should return to 
England and endeavour to obtain from Sir Timothy an 
allowance for herself and Percy. On August 25, 1823, 
she was in London under the roof of her father's house 
in the Strand, and on the 2gth Godwin took her, with 
her step-brother William, and Mrs. Williams, to the 
English Opera House to witness a dramatic performance 
of her novel Frankenstein. Godwin had been prompted, 
by the appearance of this play, to get published for 
Mary's benefit a new edition 1 of her novel, as he 

1 Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, by Mary Wollstonecraft 
Shelley. In two volumes, a new edition. London : Printed for G. & W. 
B. Whittaker, Ave Maria Lane, 1823. The first edition of this book, 
in three volumes, was published without the author's name, but it con- 
tained a dedication to Godwin which was omitted from this reprint. 



despaired of Sir Timothy doing anything for her. 
She wrote, however, to her father-in-law and Lady 
Shelley on her arrival in England, and Sir Timothy 
sent the letter to Whit ton. The lawyer advised, in 
a letter dated September ist, that Sir Timothy should 
reply by referring Mary to his letter to Byron as con- 
taining his explanation of all that he intended to do, 
and that his feelings would not permit him to corre- 
spond further on the subject. Whitton thought that 
such a letter would quiet his client and induce Mary 
to desist from further troubling him or Lady Shelley. 
Sir Timothy, however, did not fall in with Whitton's 
suggestion that he should answer Mary's letter, and 
Whitton therefore wrote to her on September 3rd. 
He told her that she was acquainted with Sir Timothy's 
general sentiments, and that he did " not think it 
proper to vary or alter that determination which he 
has already stated." Whitton also informed Mary 
that, when she had placed her son in that situation 
which she considered desirable for him, if she would 
send him particulars he would inquire of Sir Timothy 
what proportion he would be prepared to pay of the 
expenses." As Whitton was leaving town, he said that 
he would see Mrs. Shelley that day. 

Mary accordingly, accompanied by her father and 
her little boy, called on Whitton, and, describing the 
interview in a letter to Hunt, she said that the lawyer 


Shelley in England 

" was very polite though long-winded ; his great wish 
seemed to be to prevent me from applying again jto 
Sir Timothy, whom he represented as old, infirm and 
irritable. However, he advanced me -100 for my 
immediate expenses, told me that he could not speak 
positively until he had seen Sir T. Shelley, but he 
doubted not that I should receive the same sum annu- 
ally for my child, and with a little time and patience 
I should get an allowance for myself/' Whitton 
wrote a long letter to Sir Timothy, in which he gave 
an account of the conversation that he had had with 
Mary and her father, and he stated that he made the 
advance to her as he realised that, as she was wholly 
without money, and her father not being in a posi- 
tion to assist her, without some present aid she could 
not keep herself without great distress ; that he 
thought Sir Timothy might allow a sum not very 
short of 100 a year for the child, but that she was 
not to look forward to support from that quarter. 
Mary seems to have construed Whitton's remarks 
otherwise ; she expected that her father-in-law would 
make her an adequate provision. Peacock saw Whitton 
on November 6th, and stated that Mrs. Shelley had 
written to him saying that she expected an allowance 
of 300 a year, to which statement Whitton declared 
that it was Sir Timothy's intention not to allow her 
sixpence beyond what was necessary for her child. 



It was, however, arranged by Whitton, in an inter- 
view with Peacock some three weeks later, that Mary 
should receive an allowance of 100 a year from Sep- 
tember ist preceding. But Mary, remembering her 
conversation with Whitton, still hoped that this allow- 
ance would be augmented, and after some months of 
suspense she must have written to him on the subject, 
in June 1824, as the lawyer replied to her on the I4th 
of that month that it concerned him very much that 
even his most guarded expressions should have pro- 
duced a feeling of expectation on her part. He 
pointed out to her that, as under her late husband's 
will she had an important expectant interest in part 
of the settled estates, she thus possessed a resource 
beyond and independently of the allowance made by 
Sir Timothy for Percy's maintenance. He thought 
it right to refer her to the consideration of that sub- 
ject, as she might thereby provide for herself all that 
she now required. Peacock called on Whitton to ask 
lor an explanation of that part of his letter to Mrs. 
Shelley which referred her to her own means for 
obtaining a support. Whitton gave him no encourage- 
ment to expect that Sir Timothy would take a grant 
from Mary of a part of her expectant right in considera- 
tion of an annuity, but the lawyer agreed to ascertain, 
in the circumstances, the value of an annuity of 
300 per annum during the joint lives. Mary Shelley 


Shelley in England 

was led by this inquiry to conclude that some satis- 
factory arrangement would result, as she wrote to 
Trelawny on July 28th : " My prospects are somewhat 
brighter than they were. I have little doubt but that 
in the course of a few months I shall have an inde- 
pendent income of 300 to 400 per annum during 
Sir Timothy's life, and that with small sacrifice 
on my part. After his death Shelley's will secures 
me an income more than sufficient for my simple 

Soon after Shelley's death, when Mary was at Albaro, 
she applied herself to the task of going over his manu- 
scripts and transcribing them preparatory to issuing 
a collection of his unpublished poems. When she was 
nearing the completion of her task, she must have 
experienced a difficulty in finding a publisher willing 
to undertake to print the book at his own risk. The 
Olliers, who had issued Shelley's poems at the author's 
charges, had stated that " the sale, in every instance, 
of Mr. Shelley's works has been very confined." The 
original editions of his works were, at the time, a drug 
in the market, and the London publishers showed no 
eagerness to publish his Posthumous Poems. A plan 
at length was found to induce John Hunt to issue the 
book. The sale of 250 copies was guaranteed by three 
admirers of Shelley's poetry namely, Thomas Lovell 
Beddoes ; Bryan Waller Procter, otherwise " Barry 



Cornwall " ; and Thomas Forbes Kelsall none of whom 
appear to have known the poet personally. The pub- 
lisher decided to print 500 copies of the volume, as 
he said that a smaller number would not pay for 
printing and advertisements, much less yield any 
profit for Mrs. Shelley. A portrait was to have been 
added as a frontispiece to the book, but Mrs. Williams 
had mislaid a sketch of the poet, which Mary Shelley 
had lent her, until it was too late to use it. 1 It was 
originally intended to include in the volume a selection 
from Shelley's prose writings, including some letters 
from Italy, besides his translation of the Symposium 
and Ion of Plato, but Mary stated in her preface 
to the book (dated June i, 1824) that the size of 
the collection had prevented the insertion of any 
prose pieces, which would appear in a separate 
publication. 2 

1 See the Poems of T. L. Beddoes, 1851, edited by T. F. Kelsall, 
Memoir, vol. i. p. xxiii. ; also The Letters of T. L. Beddoes, 1894, edited 
by Edmund Gosse, p. I et seq., p. 264. 

2 In an advertisement, dated December 1823, and printed at the end 
of Don Juan, Cantos XII-XIV, 1823, of John Hunt's publications, 
among " works preparing for publication " is the announcement : 

"In one vol. 8vo. The Posthumous Works of the late Percy B. 
Shelley, Esq. Containing : The Witch of Atlas ; Julian and Maddalo ; 
Triumph of Life ; Alastor, or the Spirit of Solitude. Translations : 
The Cyclop, a Silenic Drama from Eurypides [sic] ; Homer's Hymn to 
Mercury ; The Symposium and Ion of Plato, &c. Letters from Italy ; 
and smaller poems." In the next volume of Don Juan, Canto XV-XVI, 
1824, the advertisement, dated March 1824, again appears among works 
in preparation, but "Letters from Italy" and "The Symposium" are 
omitted, and " From the Faust of Goethe" [sic] is added. 

577 2 o 

Shelley in England 

The book on the whole was received favourably by 
the reviewers, who were forced, though sometimes 
unwillingly, to admit that it contained proofs of 
Shelley's unmatched gift of song. The Quarterly, 
Hazlitt in the Edinburgh, and " Christopher North " 
in Black-wood,, were agreed in praising the book, but 
the writer of a long review which appeared in the 
number for August 1823 of that little known, but very 
interesting, publication, Knight's Quarterly Magazine, 
showed that he was well acquainted with Shelley's 
poetry, from Queen Mob to Adonais, and had followed 
the criticisms which had been meted out to it in the 
past. He said : 

"Amidst the crowd of feeble and tawdry writers 
with which we are surrounded, tantalizing us with a 
mere shew of power, and rendering their native bald- 
ness more disgusting by the exaggerations and dis- 
tortions with which they attempt to hide it, it is 
refreshing to meet with a work upon which the genuine 
mark of intellectual greatness is stamped. Here are 
no misgivings, no chilling doubts, no reasoning with 
ourselves as to the grounds of our temporary admira- 
tion ; no comparison of canons, no reference to 
criterions of beauty. We feel ourselves raised above 
criticism, to that of which criticism is only the shadow ; 
we perceive that it is from sources like these that 
her rules, even where true, are exclusively derived, 
servants that know not their master's will, and we 
feel that we have no need of them, when all that they 



could teach presents itself to us by intuition. It is 
a reviving feeling a sense of deliverance and of 
exaltation ; we are emancipated from the minute and 
narrowing restraints to which an habitual intercourse 
with petty prejudices almost insensibly subjects us ; 
we breathe freely in the open air of enlarged thought ; 
and we deem ourselves ennobled by our relation to a 
superior mind, and by the sense of our own capabilities 
which its grand conceptions awaken in us." 

The writer then went on to examine the charges 
that had been made against Shelley and his poetry. 
" We are a review-and-newspaper-ridden people," 
he said, " and, while we contend clamorously for the 
right of thinking for ourselves, we yet guide ourselves 
unconsciously by the opinion of censors whom we know 
to be partial and incompetent." The feeling against 
Shelley was not merely because he had erred, but 
because his errors were unpopular and he had never 
attempted to disguise his opinions or to mask them 
" under a decent guise of conformity." The article 
concludes with several pages of extracts from the 
poems, and is followed by a lively dialogue between 
the contributors, at the anniversary gathering of the 
magazine, on the merits of Shelley's poetry, on Mrs. 
Shelley's Frankenstein, and her then recently published 
novel Valperga. The author of the article disguised 
his identity under the pseudonym of " Edward 
Haselfoot," but the magazine counted among its 


Shelley in England 

contributors Macaulay, Praed, and Moultrie, and 
it may have been written by one of the two last 

The volume of Shelley's Posthumous Poems had not 
been long in circulation before Sir Timothy wrote to 
Whitton about it. He had attempted during his 
son's lifetime to restrain him from publishing his 
works and had failed, but, now that Mary Shelley 
was dependent on him for supplies, it was an easy 
matter to threaten to stop her allowance unless she 
at once withdrew the circulation of her husband's 
poems. Whitton wrote to Sir Timothy, on July 24, 
1824, that he had seen Mr. Peacock, and that he had 
had a very long and particular conversation with him 
on the subject of " the publications." Peacock re- 
marked that he was ignorant of Mary's intention to 
publish, and that had he known it he would have used 
his endeavours to prevent it. He had heard that she, 
or, rather, her father, was about to publish some prose 
writings (apparently of Shelley's), and Whitton, who 
intimated to him that such conduct had been very 
offensive to Sir Timothy's feelings, conceived that the 
baronet would regard " any further publication of the 
writings as intended to annoy " him and his family. 
Whereupon Peacock said that he would endeavour to 
prevent it, and a few days later he again saw Whitton, 
who wrote to Sir Timothy on August 5th as follows : 


W. Whitton to Sir Timothy Shelley 


Augt. 5, 1824. 

DEAR SIR TIMOTHY, The day after I had the 
pleasure of seeing you I saw Mr. Peacock, and I com- 
municated with him very fully as to the publication 
of the Poetry and the proposed publication of the 
prose parts of Mr. Shelley's writings, and having pointed 
out to him how much such Publications pressed on 
the feelings of yourself and your family, he ex- 
pressed to me his great regret that the publication 
had ever taken place, and that having seen Mrs. Shelley 
she had authorised him to take any course he might 
think proper to get in the copies of the Book then 
under publication and his only difficulty was the 
expense which had been incurred in the publication ; 
and I therefore proposed to him that 1 would make 
payment of the amount supposing the same did not 
exceed 100. Mr. Peacock intimated to me that the 
bargain for the publication had been that Mrs. Shelley 
was to receive any profits that should arise beyond the 
expenses of publication, and I had reason to under- 
stand that 700 of the Books had been printed. This 
morning Mr. Peacock again called on me and stated 
that in consequence of what had previously passed 
the Advertizements had ceased, that 500 only of the 
Books had been printed, of which about 300 had been 
sold, the price for which had cleared the expenses and 
advertisements, that about 30 were in the hands of 
Booksellers at Edinburgh and Dublin which he would 
immediately cause to be recalled, and the remaining 
170 he proposed to send to me ; there are about 7 in 
the hands of Booksellers in different parts of the Town 


Shelley in England 

which we thought it would not be prudent to apply 
for. Upon consideration I deemed it would be more 
expedient, and I therefore stipulated with Mr. Peacock 
that the 170 Volumes and the manuscript of the Work 
as well as the Manuscript of the prose writings should 
be placed in his hands as a more perfect means of 
satisfaction to you and your family, and this he pro- 
mised me should be immediately done. I was the 
more desirous that Mr. Peacock should be charged 
with the care of the printed Books and the two Manu- 
scripts rather than the Books should be sent to me 
and the manuscripts left in the hands of indifferent 
persons. In this way I hope a continuance of annoy- 
ance to you will be avoided. The check you sent 
me dated the 17 of June, 1824, f r 5 I did not use 
in the way you pointed out for the benefit of Mrs. 
Shelley, and I now return it to you cancelled. Mr. 
Peacock stated to me that Mrs. Shelley had mis- 
apprehended the arrangements as to the payments 
to her, that she was greatly inconvenienced for the 
want of money. I therefore paid her 50 for the ist 
of Sept. by anticipation. When you have reflected 
on the circumstances now communicated and con- 
sidered the subject with Lady Shelley and your family 
you will be pleased to let me know what you intend 
doing. I mentioned to Mr. Peacock about the Edu- 
cation of the little Boy, and he expressed his great 
readiness to assist in inducing Mrs. Shelley to do 
what may be right in the occasion, he agreeing with 
me that a Godwin education must be altogether 

Yours Dr. Sir Timothy, 

Very faithfully, 




Mrs. Shelley must have parted reluctantly with 
Shelley's original manuscripts, but it was expedient 
to comply with Sir Timothy's demands, and the 
papers only passed into the custody of her friend 
Peacock. Of what exactly the manuscripts comprised 
does not appear from Peacock's letter that follows. 
The translations from Plato remained unprinted till 
the year 1840, when they appeared in Mary Shelley's 
collection of Shelley's Essays and Letters from Abroad. 

T. L. Peacock to W. Whitton 

Aug. 18, 1824. 

MY DEAR SIR, I have received from Mrs. Shelley 
the original MSS. which were to have composed the 
prose volume. 

There are two translations from Plato which she 
cannot immediately procure from a person to whom 
she had lent them, and who (if I recollect rightly, 
having mislaid her note) is out of town. 

She assures me that they shall not be printed, and 
that they shall be sent to me as soon as she can obtain 
them. I have also received the whole remaining im- 
pression of the Posthumous Poems, 190 copies. 
I remain, my dear Sir, 

Very sincerely yours, 

Augt. 1 8, 1824. 

Mary Shelley no doubt consented thus readily to the 
suppression of the Posthumous Poems as the question 


Shelley in England 

was then pending whether Sir Timothy would advance 
her a sum of money on her expectant interest under 
her husband's will. She wrote accordingly to Leigh 
Hunt on August 22nd : 

"A negotiation has begun between Sir Timothy 
Shelley and myself, by which, on sacrificing a small 
part of my future expectations on the will, I shall 
ensure myself a sufficiency for the present. ... I 
have been obliged, however, as an indispensable pre- 
liminary, to suppress the Posthumous Poems. 1 More 
than 300 copies had been sold, so this is the less pro- 

1 The following is the account of the publishers, John and Henry Hunt, 
for Shelley's Posthtunous Poems : 


s. d. 

To Printing 500 copies . 90 1 1 6 
,, 26| Reams of Paper 

@ 30/6 . . . 40 15 ioi 
, , Entering at Stationers' 

Hall . . .030 
,, Advertisements. . 24 13 9 
, , ii copies to Stationers' 

Hall 10/6. . 5 15 6 
,, 41 copies to Mrs. 

Shelley @ 10/6 . 21 10 6 
,, 10 copies to The 

Press @ 10/6 . 550 
,, 1 60 copies to Sir T. 

Shelley (in sheets) 

@ 10/6 . . . 80 o o 
,, 31 copies to Sir T. 

Shelley (in boards) 

@ 10/6 . . .1656 
, , Recalling from Country 

Agents . . .162 
,, Mrs. Shelley on ac- 
count . . . 15 o o 
,, Publishing . . 36 o o 

337 6 9 


, s. d. 

By 500 copies Sheets (as 

480 @ io/-) . . 240 o o 
Balance carried forward . 97 6 9 

;337 6 

To Balance brought forward, ^"97, 6s. 



yoking, and I have been obliged to promise not to 
bring dear Shelley's name before the public again 
during Sir Timothy's life. There is no great harm in 
this, since he is above seventy ; l and, from choice, 
I should not think of writing memoirs now, and the 
materials for a volume of more works are so scant 
that I doubted before whether I could publish it. 
Such is the folly of the world, and so do things seem 
different from what they are ; since from Whitton's 
account, Sir Timothy writhes under the fame of his 
incomparable son, as if it were the most grievous injury 
done to him ; and so, perhaps, after all it will prove. 
All this was pending when I wrote last, but until I 
was certain I did not think it worth while to mention 
it. The affair is arranged by Peacock, who, though 
I seldom see him, seems anxious to do me all these 
kind of services in the best manner that he can." 

Peacock was certainly vigilant, and he saw Whitton 
on November 27th in regard to a letter that he had 
received from Mary respecting her situation and want 
of means. Whitton gave his advice as to her ability 
to purchase an annuity for her life, and he promised 
to furnish her with the necessary evidence if Sir 
Timothy declined to take part in the transaction. 2 
Both Mrs. Shelley and Peacock saw Whitton several 
times on the subject, and, as Sir Timothy finally de- 
clined to take part in her proposed annuity, the lawyer 
suggested that Peacock should lay the proposal before 

1 Sir Timothy Shelley lived to the age of ninety-one. 

2 From Whitton's Diary, November 27, 1824. 


Shelley in England 

some insurance company. Peacock acted on this 
counsel, but the negotiation proved abortive. 

Mary wrote to her friend, Miss Curran, on January 
2, 1825, with regard to her affairs : " I have now better 
prospects than I had, or rather, a better reality, for my 
prospects are sufficiently misty. I receive now 200 
from my Father-in-law, but this in so strange and em- 
barrassed a manner that, as yet, I hardly know what to 
make of it. I do not believe, however, that he would 
object to my going abroad, as I daresay he considers 
that the first step towards kingdom come, whither, 
doubtless, he prays that an interloper like me may 
speedily be removed." l 

The prospect of remaining in London was daily 
growing more distasteful to her. On April 8th she 
wrote to Leigh Hunt : "I shall not live with my 
father but return to Italy and economise the moment 
God and Mr. Whitton will permit." 

Any doubts, however, that Mary may have enter- 
tained respecting her income were soon to be dispelled 
by an unfortunate incident. 

Mary had written a novel, during the last years of 
Shelley's life, of which he entertained a high opinion, 

1 Whitton noted in his Diary on December 26, 1824: " Writing letter 
to Mrs. Shelley. Gave her cheque for ^50." It is not clear whether Sir 
Timothy had actually entered into an arrangement with Mary to allow 
her 200 a year, or whether she took this sum to represent a quarterly 
instalment of a regular allowance. 



and he attempted to find a publisher for it. The 
book, with the title Valperga ; or, The Life and Adven- 
tures of Castruccio, Prince of Lucca, was issued during 
the summer of 1823, shortly before Mary left Italy. 
The publisher paid her for the manuscript a sum of 
400, which she generously gave to her father, who 
had put the book into shape for publication. It was 
now imperative that Mary should again employ her 
pen to eke out her meagre income, and she wrote 
another novel, The Last Man, which was published 
early in the year 1826. This book, like its predecessor, 
did not bear Mary's name on the title-page, but was 
described as "by the author of Frankenstein." When 
Sir Timothy induced Mary to suppress the Posthumous 
Poems, under the threat of stopping supplies if she re- 
fused, she hoped that, in recognition of her compliance 
with his wishes, he would have considered the question 
of raising money for her benefit. But it was his desire 
that Shelley's memory might be forgotten, and he made 
it a condition of continuing the allowance to Mary of 
100 per annum that she should not bring her hus- 
band's name again before the public. Mary Shelley 
was pretty widely known to be the author of Franken- 
stein, although originally published anonymously, as 
her father, in bringing out the new edition of that 
romance, had put her name on the title-page. The 
reviewers, therefore, of The Last Man freely referred 


Shelley in England 

to her by name, and this publicity so annoyed Sir 
Timothy, that he showed his displeasure by suspending 
her allowance, although Mary was in no wise blame- 

Whitton, in sending Peacock a sum of 50 for Mary 
on July 5, 1826, said that it must be considered the 
last payment. He added, in the same letter, that 
Shelley's eldest son by Harriet, Charles Bysshe, was 
in consumption. Six days later he wrote again to 
Peacock, and sent him, for Mrs. Shelley's information, 
the doctor's report on the boy's case, and said : "I 
regret very much the situation of the little fellow ; 
he has the affectionate attention of Sir Timothy and 
Lady Shelley and of the young ladies at Field Place. 
This disaster puts, I fear, a complete negative to the 
raising by Mrs. Shelley of an annuity upon her ex- 
pectant interest in the Estates incumbered as they 
have been." 

About the middle of September 1826 little Charles 
Shelley died, and Mary's son, Percy Florence, became 
heir-presumptive to the baronetcy. It is pretty clear 
that there was little love lost between Sir Timothy 
and Mary Shelley, and he was probably prepared to 
think of his grandson Percy as an interloper, especially 
as the boy stood between Sir Timothy's second son 
John and the baronetcy. John Shelley, although only 
twenty, was already engaged to be married, and his 



From a photograph -in the possession of Sir John Shelley, Bart. 


father, in sending Whitton, on October I5th, a cer- 
tificate of Charles's burial, wrote with regard to the 
young man's settlement in life : " You mention'd that 
you should be enabled during the Vacation to put 
into writing the several interests of the State of the 
Family concerns and of the interest, etc., of my son 
respecting his nuptials. It will be very gratifying to 
me so to arrange matters that I may see my way to 
do right, and set him out as circumstances admit. 
My son will be of age the middle of March next, and 
young folks do not feel easy apart when all agree upon 
the point, and at my time of Life my only wish is to 
make those happy I feel so much interest for, and no 
delay will be on my part and I am sure not on yours 
in laying before him in due time his expectations." 

John Shelley was married on March 24, 1827, to 
Eliza, daughter of Charles Bowen of Kilna Court, 
Queen's County. Some two years later he appears 
to have done something to upset his father, in whose 
affections, however, he seems to have had a place that 
was denied to or forfeited by Bysshe. The exact 
nature of the trouble is not disclosed, but money was 
involved. Sir Timothy, in writing to Whitton on 
August 18, 1829, said : "I wish he had always been 
as cautious in his dealings and I hope he may be so 
in future as he is with me : I the rather encouraged 
it that he may have an example for the future. Would 


Shelley in England 

not any little memorandum suffice to quiet his fears ? 
I wish once to arrange with him, then he must take 
care of himself and give me no further trouble. . . . 
As John mentioned 800 I told him 1000 would be 
better and the other 500 would be ready giving me 
some notice. He told me you advis'd him not to be 
hasty in replacing the 500. We were all young once." 
He referred to the same subject again on September 
4th : ' This young man, my son, came to his senses 
of his own accord, I wish he may always see his way 
right and see his interest with those who wish him 
well, amongst whom his Father, and the gentleman 
who only knows and understands the concerns in 
which he may have to transact business with. Nothing 
but the lack of money can make youngsters under- 
stand the right use of it." 1 

Peacock's good offices were again requisitioned by 
Mary to explain to Whitton that her name had not 
appeared on the title-pages of her books, and that for 
the publicity that had been given to her she was in 
no way responsible. Whitton, who acknowledged the 
truth of these circumstances, said, " The name was the 
matter ; it annoyed Sir Timothy." Although the 

1 John Shelley died on Nov. n, 1866. His son Edward, born 1827, 
who became 4th Baronet in 1889 on the death of Sir Percy Florence 
Shelley, was succeeded as 5th Baronet by his brother Charles, born 1838, 
father of the 6th and present Baronet, Sir John Courtown Edward Shelley 
of Avington, Hants, and Field Place, Sussex. 



lawyer would promise nothing, Peacock did not doubt 
that Mary would at length receive an allowance, 
" though she might be punished by a short delay." l 

In writing to Trelawny from Kentish Town, on March 
4, 1827, Mary spoke of the extreme severity of the 
winter, that had carried off many old people. Sir 
Timothy had been laid up with the gout for ten weeks, 
but he had recovered. " All that time," she con- 
tinued, " a settlement for me was delayed, although 
it was acknowledged that Percy, now being the heir, 
one ought to be made ; at length after much parading 
they have notified me that I shall receive a magnificent 
250 a year, to be increased next year to 300. But 
then I am not permitted to leave this cloudy nook. 
My desire to get away is unchanged, and I used to 
look forward to your return as a period when I might 
contrive but I fear there is no hope during Sir T.'s 
life. He and his family are now at Brighton. John 
Shelley, dear S.'s brother, is about to marry, and 
talks of calling on me." 

Mr. Whitton went to Brighton to see Sir Timothy, 
who talked over with him Mrs. Shelley's situation. 
On his return to London the lawyer saw Mrs. Shelley 
and Peacock, and wrote to Sir Timothy, on March 
2gth, that he " intimated to them the kind intention 
you had of affording protection to her and the child 

1 Mrs. Marshall's Life of Mary Shelley, vol. ii. p. 150. 

Shelley in England 

of a limited annual amount, under the sum you men- 
tioned to me, because I thought it most prudent to 
reserve a portion for the increasing expenses of the 
little Boy and she seemed extremely gratified in your 
kindness. It was then agreed that a security should 
be prepared for what had already been paid amounting 
to about 1000, that is 750 by yourself, the residue by 
me and for the future advances." After some tedious 
negotiations with Whitton and Amory & Cole the 
lawyers representing Peacock as Shelley's sole sur- 
viving trustee, in which Peacock displayed exemplary 
patience the business was ultimately arranged. While 
these details were under discussion, Sir Timothy wrote, 
on April ist, to Whitton : 

" My motive for arranging with your assistance for 
Mrs. S. when I had the pleasure of seeing you at 
Brighton, was to set her above the evils of pecuniary 
want, and whatever I may feel under the general 
circumstances, I can never harbour within my breast 
unchristian-like Feelings towards her, but to make 
the best of existing things, and acting upon principle 
and rectitude. Mr. Peacock, her Friend, will no doubt 
be influenced by the same Motives, and as you are 
aware of the best to be done, I have only to add, that 
her Friend may be assur'd, you have ever been a 
powerful advocate in her favour, and nothing but 
what is honourable and just would be proposed. 

" I forbear to enter into past events, but look to what 
is just and may be so made appear to all parties. 

59 2 


" Except on a point of positive Law I have not for a 
long time held the opinion of Counsel in much esti- 
mation. I hope the justness of any case I may have 
to do with may be the rule. 

" Having completely conquer 'd Gout etc. without the 
aid of medical advisers, you will as readily conquer the 
case upon the like principle, Patience and well doing." 

Sir Timothy decided to take a personal part in these 
negotiations, and Whitton therefore wrote to Peacock, 
on May gth, to say that his client was desirous of 
having an explanation in regard to the security with 
him, and, if he thought proper, with his solicitor, 
Mr. Amory ; and he added that if he could con- 
veniently bring the little boy Sir Timothy would be 
glad to see him : " but he particularly wishes not to 
trouble Mrs. Shelley to call with him." 

A few days after the interview Sir Timothy wrote 
to his lawyer : "I felt so unman'd and unpleasant 
feelings at meeting the Little Boy, and the Gentleman 
with you, and Mr. Amory brought to my recollection 
the past, that it unfitted me to say more than leaving 
it, and most properly too, in your hands : It did not 
appear to me that Mr. Amory brook'd giving way. I 
trust you will succeed at last, for I am sure you pointed 
out no more than was just, if she perchance hold under 
the will. The Little Boy appear'd a child of 5 years 
of age ; he look'd very small, very healthy, and very 
clean in his person." 

593 2P 

Shelley in England 

In handing over the business to be settled by 
Whitton, Sir Timothy showed that he distrusted the 
methods of Messrs. Amory & Cole, but he wrote on 
May 2ist that " Mr. Peacock seemed to wish to act 
properly." The delays were causing Mary great in- 
convenience, and Peacock therefore drafted a letter 
for her to send to Sir Timothy, which she copied out 
and sent to Mr. Whitton. 

Mary W. Shelley to Sir Timothy Shelley 

May 29, 1827. 

SIR, It is the subject of great anxiety to me that 
the period of my signing the deed drawn by Mr. Whitton 
is again delayed, and I am the more mortified since 
it appears that this delay is occasioned by a communi- 
cation of mine. When Mr. Whitton proposed to me 
that on the contingency of my inheriting on Bysshe's 
Will I should repay the sums advanced and to be 
advanced by you to me and my child, I immediately 
acceded to the arrangement as being just and proper. 
Mr. Whitton wished that the deed he should draw 
should be seen and approved by a Solicitor on my part. 
Mr. Peacock named Mr. Amory, and Mr. Whitton was 
satisfied with this nomination. As soon as the affair 
was put into the hands of a Solicitor, I of course con- 
sidered myself obliged to act under his directions, and 
in consequence of Mr. Amory's objections all this 
delay has occurred. 

For myself I do not hesitate to say that I put every 



confidence in you, Sir Timothy, and that I feel perfectly 
secure that my interests are safe in your hands, and 
I am ready to confide them to your direction. It is 
hard therefore that while I am satisfied with the 
arrangements you make, that the objections of my 
advisers should subject me to the dreadful embarrass- 
ments with which I am now struggling. It was in 
February last that Mr. Whitton announced to me your 
intention of allowing me 250 p. ann., since then I 
have received no supply. I have lived on credit 
the bills incurred are now presented for payment, and 
neither have I funds to defray them nor any by which 
I can continue to exist. 

I do not understand business : and I do not mean 
to bring this subject before you as a question of 
business. The interest you shewed for my son en- 
couraged me in the hope that you also will be desirous 
of facilitating my earnest wish of bringing him up 
properly. I consider it perfectly right that I should 
repay the sums you advance to me for his support, 
but the means for his support I can only obtain 
through you. I am sure that you will not permit a 
question of forms merely to interfere with the welfare 
of your grandson and the respectability of his mother. 
It is a great misfortune to me that I am not permitted 
to see you. It would have been a great happiness 
if, left a widow, I could have been under the protec- 
tion of Bysshe's father. This good is denied to me : 
but let me entreat you to enter into my situation 
and not to delay in relieving me from the humiliation 
and distresses to which I am subjected. I believe 
that Mr. Whitton feels assured that confidence may be 
safely placed in me and will not advise any further 
postponement in the desired settlement. 


Shelley in England 

Let me entreat you therefore, Sir Timothy, to direct 
that the deed in question may be immediately pre- 
pared for my signature. Every day is of consequence 
to me : your kind feelings will, I do not doubt, cause 
as few to intervene as possible before I am relieved 
from my embarrassments. 

Percy is quite well, and often speaks of you : I 
hope it will not be long before he has the honour of 
seeing you again. 

I am your obliged and obt. servant, 


This letter did not meet with Whitton's approval, 
and one gathers from Mary's next letter that he ex- 
cused himself from sending it on to Sir Timothy on 
account of some domestic trouble under which he was 
suffering at the time. 

Mary W. Shelley to W. Whitton 


June 4, 1827. 

SIR, I am sorry that my letter to Sir Timy Shelley 
is not satisfactory. I beg you will attribute my 
failure to my utter ignorance of business and my not 
knowing exactly what it was necessary that I should 

I thought that when I expressed my perfect 
confidence in Sir Timothy, and my readiness to sign 
the deed in question, that I should efface any dis- 
agreeable impression made by my letter to Mr. Amory. 



The explanation of that letter is simple. I had, at 
your wish, confided the conduct of my affairs to Mr. 

I copied the letter which certainly when he com- 
posed he had no intention it should contain any ex- 
pressions offensive to Sir T. Shelley. You told me 
that it conveyed the idea that a foundation was to 
be laid by it for a suit in Chancery I am sorry it 
should have been so ill worded I utterly disclaim 
any such intention or thought on my part I beg to 
retract any expressions that would give rise to such 
an idea, or that detract at all from the perfect confi- 
dence I feel in Sir Timothy. 

I trust that my present communication fills up any 
omission in my last. If not, and if you will let me 
know that such is the case, I will call on you at any 
hour you will appoint that I may learn by what act 
or word of mine I can bring this painful negociation 
to a conclusion. 

I am most anxious to make the required concessions 
and to sign the deed My situation is one of struggle 
and embarrassment Besides the debts I have been 
obliged to incur I made arrangements (when on the 
interview of Sir Timy with Messrs. Peacock and Amory, 
I thought the negociation on the eve of terminating) 
to quit Kentish Town. I cannot delay my departure 
more than a fortnight or three weeks and yet without 
money I cannot discharge my bills here Permit me 
to request as a personal favour to myself that you 
would kindly use your influence with Sir Timothy 
and as speedily as circumstances will permit make 
such communication to him as will bring this dis- 
tressing delay to a termination. 

May I be allowed to ask what the circumstance is 


Shelley in England 

to which you allude as having occurred in Sir Tim's 

I am, Sir, 

Your obt. Sevt., 


Sir Timothy agreed at length to advance a sum upon 
Mrs. Shelley's bond, with the provision that the amount 
was to be repaid to his estate on his death with interest 
at 5 per cent. This sum was to provide her with an 
annual income, to commence on September ist, which 
was first fixed at 250, and was subsequently to be 
augmented when later she would have to meet the 
increased expenses of her son's education. According 
to Mrs. Marshall, Mary was staying during most of 
the autumn of 1827 at Arundel in Sussex, " with, or 
in the near neighbourhood of her friends, the Miss 
Robinsons. There were several sisters, to one of 
whom, Julia, Mrs. Shelley was much attached." * 
While in Sussex Mary wrote to Whitton, on August 
I5th, from Sompting, near Shoreham, and said she 
desired to express " her grateful thanks " to Sir 
Timothy " for his attentions to my poor boy and his 
kindness towards myself. Percy is very well indeed. 
The fresh country air and sea baths have added to 
his look of perfect health. This makes me the less 

1 Life and Letters of Mary W. Shelley, by Mrs. Julia Marshall, vol. ii. 
p. 183. 



regret a short delay in putting him to School. Mr. 
Peacock has meanwhile promised to make enquiries 
concerning one : My plan is that it should be at a 
short distance from town and that I should reside 
close to it. This will be quite necessary at first while 
he is a day scholar, and afterwards I should not choose 
to be at any distance from him/' Mary found a school 
for Percy, kept by a Mr. Slater, at Kensington, where 
she sent him on March 25, 1828. 1 She now saw an 
opportunity of gratifying her long-cherished desire to 
take a holiday on the Continent. During Percy's 
Easter holidays, on April 8th, she wrote to Whitton : 
" A friend of mine has arrived from the South at 
Paris, and intends immediately almost to proceed to 
Germany. As I desire very much to profit by this 
only opportunity I shall have of seeing her, I intend 
going to Paris the day after I take Percy back to 
school (next Thursday). As I shall be exceedingly 
anxious to return to him, I shall not remain away 
more than three weeks. The opportunity is the more 
desirable as I join other friends who are going." 

On April nth Mary wrote in her diary : "I depart 
for Paris sick of heart yet pining to see my friend " 
(Julia Robinson). According to the statement of one 
who knew Mary, in a book entitled Traits of Character, 
" Honour to the authoress and admiration for the 

1 The school is now the Church House to the Carmelite Church. 


Shelley in England 

woman awaited her " in Paris. Mary, however, was 
both depressed and ill on her journey, and little wonder ; 
for, as she wrote in her diary, she was sickening of 
the smallpox, with which she was confined to bed as 
soon as she arrived in Paris, and although the nature 
of her disaster was concealed from her till her con- 
valescence, she was not so easily duped. Her illness 
was succeeded by buoyant health and spirits. Though, 
she said, " a monster to look at," she endeavoured to 
make herself agreeable to her friends in Paris, " who 
were very amiable." 

Mrs. Shelley stayed at Dover for a few days, on her 
return from the Continent, for the benefit of the sea- 
bathing. 1 During her absence she had heard the 
gratifying news that Sir Timothy had been to see Percy 
at his school in Kensington. He was much pleased 
with the little boy, so she was told by Whitton, who 
believed that Lady Shelley and the Miss Shelleys 
then staying in London also visited Percy. Whitton 
had also heard that Sir Timothy stated that the 
child should have lessons in dancing. Mary showed 
in her letters that she was very anxious her boy 
should see his grandfather at regular intervals. The 
old gentleman did meet him from time to time, but 
it does not appear that he ever gratified Mary's desire 

1 Mary was at Dover on June 4, on which date she wrote to Whitton 
from that place. 



to receive her, although she made frequent attempts 
to break down his reserve. 

In the following letter to a friend of her girlhood, 
formerly Isabel Baxter, Mary described her illness and 
her visit to Paris. It would be interesting to identify 
the name of the young French poet who was so 
attracted to Mary. There were so many young poets 
at that time in Paris, each of whom was considered 
the cleverest man in France. 

Mary W. Shelley to Mrs. Isabel Booth 

DOVER, June 15 [1828]. 

MY DEAR GIRL, You will have heard from Mrs. 
Godwin of my hateful illness and its odious results. 
Instead of returning to town as I most exceedingly 
desired to join my friends there, and to see again 
dear Isabel I am fain to hide myself in the country, 
and as I am told sea bathing will assist materially 
the disappearance of the marks, I remain on the coast. 

I shall long to see you again to relate and to hear 
a thousand histories if I make a longer stay in the 
country than I now intend perhaps you will join me 
but I mean now to return with Percy at the end of 
his holidays, that is, at the end of July. 

I was sickening of my illness when I left town my 
journey was so painful that I shudder at the recol- 
lection, and I arrived only to go to bed. What will 
you say to my philosophy when at the end of three 
weeks in brilliant health but as ugly as the - - I 
went into society I was well repaid for my fortitude, 

60 1 

Shelley in England 

for I am delighted with the people I saw and some 
I love and they merit my affection. What will you 
say also to the imagination of one of the cleverest 
men in France, young and a poet, who could be inter- 
ested in me in spite of the mark I wore It was rather 
droll to play the part of an ugly person for the first 
time in my life, yet it was very amusing to be told 
or rather not to be told but to find, that my face was 
not all my fortune. 

I have excellent news of my darling boy, whom I 
long to see again I hope you are well Mrs. G. men- 
tioned in her last letter that your children had called 
there and that all seemed well with you. When I 
last saw you, dear friend, I very little anticipated this 
long separation not at all did I fear that I should 
avoid London on my return from Paris instead of 
seeking it as I intended as speedily as possible 
Patience ! my malady has made me lose a year of 
my life but in spite of the marks that still remain 
(I am in no danger of permanent disfigurement) I am 
in good health and so different from my dreary 
state all last winter and looking younger than when 
you saw me last. 

Write to me, dearest, and direct to me at J. Robin- 
son, Esq., Park Cottage, Paddington and your letter 
will be forwarded Early next week I go to Hastings. 

My love to Isabel and Kate and remembrances to 
Mr. Booth. 


M. S. 

Have the goodness, love, to put the enclosed in the 
twopenny post for me. 



Mary expected that her yearly allowance would have 
been increased to 300 on sending Percy to school, 
and she put her case before Whitton for reference to 
her father-in-law. Until her request was granted she 
addressed frequent letters to the lawyer, who, loath to 
give his client the trouble of following the corre- 
spondence, only applied to him when compelled. But 
the subject irritated Sir Timothy, who at length grew 
testy and wrote : "I must entreat to leave this very 
troublesome woman to your judgment in respect to 
Finances. . . . What a wonderful assembly of animals 
I have to deal with." * Of Mary's letters he said : 
" They are couched in terms far from my approbation, 
and I trust you will be spared the repetition. I have 
every sentiment of wishing well to her and the little 
boy, and that there may be no further trouble given 
you, under the circumstances I will advance 300 per 
annum from the ist day of June 1829." * Mrs. Shelley 
told Whitton, in a letter written on December 2nd, 
that Percy was receiving lessons in drilling, with a 
view to curing him of a tendency to stoop. She could 
not resist a little thrust at her father-in-law, and added : 
" I think Sir Timothy would find him [Percy] im- 
proved and he is really very good and above all tract- 
able, which is not quite the virtue of his father's 

1 Sir T. Shelley to Whitton, January 19, 1829. * Ibid., June I, 1829. 


Shelley in England 

On her return to London Mary went to stay with 
her friends the Robinsons at Park Cottage, Padding- 
ton. She repeated her visits to them on many occa- 
sions, and on September I, 1830, she wrote a letter 
from their address to Whitton on some matter of 
business. Her friendship with the Robinsons gave 
rise to a rumour that must have caused her annoy- 
ance. Whitton wrote to Sir Timothy, on November i, 
1830, that a person had come into his room and told 
him, among other things, that " Mrs. Bysshe Shelley 
had married a person named Robinson," and on 
inquiry the lawyer obtained the impression, which 
appears to have had no foundation, that she had 
lately changed her residence to the house of a person 
of that name. Sir Timothy replied that Mrs. Paul, 
wife of the banker's son, while on a visit to Field Place, 
had spoken of Mary and her little boy, whom she 
expected to see, whereupon Sir Timothy requested 
her to take the child a sovereign. The gift was 
acknowledged in the following letter of thanks to 
Sir Timothy, who described it as " dictated artfully " ; 
and he added, with regard to the child's remark that 
he hoped he should some day be allowed to pay a 
visit to his grandfather : " On no account whatever 
would I take the boy. I felt so much on the death 
of Charles." Sir Timothy thought that Mrs. Paul 
might be able to solve the question of Mary's sup- 



posed marriage. Whitton, however, on making the 
next payment to Mary, asked her the question, and 
she declared that she was not married, and there the 
matter rested. 

Percy Florence Shelley to Sir Timothy Shelley 

j 2th of November, my birthday, 1830. 

MY DEAR GRANDPAPA, I am very much obliged to 
you for your kindness in thinking of your little grand- 
son, and in sending me a fine bright sovereign, and 
I shall think of the goodness of my dear Grandpapa 
each time I buy any pretty thing with it. 

When shall I see you again ? I hope soon. As I 
get on at school, and I hear Mr. Slater is satisfied 
with me, perhaps some day you will be so very good 
as to let me pay you and my Grandmama a visit in 
the country. I am learning to draw, and I like draw- 
ing better than any other lesson. I shall buy a box of 
paints with some of the money you have given me. 

Pray give my duty to Lady Shelley and my love to 
my aunts. I hope, dear Grandpapa, that you will 
love me, and I will try always to be a good boy. Some 
ladies friends of Mama who know you, say I am very 
like you, so I am sure I ought to be good. 
I am, my dear Grandpapa, 

Your dutiful grandson, 


Mary Shelley did not marry again, but she received 
from Trelawny, then her devoted friend and constant 


Shelley in England 

correspondent, an offer of marriage in 1831. To him 
she wrote, on June I4th of that year : " Do you think 
I shall marry ? Never, neither you nor anybody 
else. Mary Shelley shall be written on my tomb, 
and why ? I cannot tell, except that it is so pretty 
a name, that though I were to preach to myself for 
years, I never should have the heart to get rid of it." 
In a subsequent letter to him she was equally em- 
phatic : " My name will never be Trelawny." Al- 
though his attitude towards Mary underwent no im- 
mediate change, Trelawny did not remain constant 
in his devotion ; he seems gradually to have forgotten 
his former regard for her, and after her death he gave 
expression to some ungenerous thoughts of the woman 
whom he once wooed with fervour. 

During these years, when Mary was employed in 
trying to exact from her father-in-law a few additional 
pounds to her allowance, it is not to be supposed that 
she lived in seclusion. She does not appear naturally 
to have been a very cheerful person ; on the contrary, 
she was given, when alone, to fits of depression and 
melancholy. Her days were principally devoted to 
close literary work, though, so far from boasting of 
her authorship, she pursued her studies almost secretly, 
and disliked to be found at work by her friends. What 
Mary Shelley really loved was society, and although 
her means did not allow her to give dinner parties or 



to go to the opera, she made her Wednesday evenings 
at Somerset Street a feature of London literary life. 
Besides Shelley's old associates the Hoggs, Peacock, 
Hunt, and Horace Smith who hung together chiefly 
out of regard for his memory, she also numbered among 
her friends the Lambs, Bulwer Lytton, and Thomas 
Moore. Trelawny would have been among her sup- 
porters, but he was still abroad, as also was Medwin, 
though he was not specially in Mary's favour on account 
of his book on Byron and his aspiration to write Shelley's 
life, a feat which he subsequently accomplished, much 
to her dismay. 

During the cholera visitation to London in 1832 
Mary, anxious for the safety of her boy, took him into 
the country to a place of safety at Sandgate, but her 
family did not escape unscathed. Her half-brother 
William, Godwin's only child by his second wife, a 
promising young man, was carried off by the epidemic, 
at the age of thirty-one, in the autumn of 1832. At 
the time of his death he was parliamentary reporter 
to the Morning Pvst, was happily married, and he had 
finished a novel, Transfusion, the publication of which 
was arranged, in 1835, by his father, who prefaced the 
book by a memoir. 

The old philosopher, saddened by the loss of his 
son, had fallen on evil days. With advancing years 
he found it increasingly difficult to keep the wolf from 


Shelley in England 

the door. A subscription had been raised in 1823 for 
his benefit by his friends and admirers. The shop, 
never a profitable undertaking, had been abandoned, 
but Mary helped him whenever she could. At length, 
in 1833, Earl Grey obtained for him the small sinecure 
of Yeoman of the Exchequer, with residence in New 
Palace Yard. The nominal duties of the office were 
wholly performed by deputies. Shortly after his 
appointment the post was abolished. Godwin, how- 
ever, was allowed to retain it through the generous 
influence of some of his old opponents. He enjoyed 
his pension for some three years, retaining his faculties 
to the last. He passed away on April 7, 1836, and was 
buried, as he had desired, by the side of Mary Woll- 
stonecraft in Old St. Pancras' Churchyard. 

Godwin's bones were not allowed to remain long in 
their resting-place, as the construction of two London 
railways, which run below and through the church- 
yard, made it necessary to disturb his grave and that 
of many others. His grandson, Sir Percy Florence 
Shelley, caused the remains of Godwin and Mary 
Wollstonecraft to be removed in 1851 to the grave 
at St. Peter's, Bournemouth, where Mary Shelley 
lies buried. The old four-sided tombstone, where 
Shelley and Mary plighted their troth in the spring 
of 1814, is still to be seen in the public garden 
into which Old St. Pancras' churchyard has been 




' ^ l ' 

From a drawing' by D. Collins 




converted, and where the inscriptions may still be 
read : 

MARY WOLLSTONECRAFT GODWIN, author of A Vindication 

of the Rights of Woman. 
Born 27 April, 1759. Died 10 September, 1797. 

WILLIAM GODWIN, author of Political Justice. 
Born March 3, 1756. Died April 7, 1836. Aged 80 years. 

MARY JANE, second wife of WILLIAM GODWIN. 
Died June 17, 1841. Aged 75 years. 

The following is from a copy of Godwin's will among 
the Shelley-Whitton papers, and is characteristic of 
the man who, though he had little to bequeath 
except the pictures, would not take leave of the world 
without expressing his last wishes. The pictures, 
however, proved a valuable inheritance ; that of him- 
self and Mary Wollstonecraft passed to Sir Percy 
Shelley, and on the death of his widow they found 
their way to the National Portrait Gallery. 

March 12, 1827. 

It is the Will of me William Godwin, that all the 
property of which I die possessed, should go to my 
wife, Mary Jane Godwin, And I request Mr. John 
Corrie Hudson of the Legacy Office, Somerset House, 
to take upon him the administration of this my last 
Will, as sole Executor. 

Witness my hand this twelfth day of March one 
thousand eight hundred and twenty-seven. 


Shelley in England 

I leave to my son & my daughter my best and 
most affectionate remembrances, believing the one to 
be so provided for by the gifts of nature, & the 
other by marriage & the will of her late husband 
that nothing that I could add, could be of any im- 
portance to them. I request them both to accept a 
book, or set of books from my library, at their own 
choice, as a slight memorial of that affection, of which 
I would have yielded more substantial testimony, if 
fortune had put it in my power to do so. 

My portrait by Northcote is the principal memo- 
randum of my corporeal existence that will remain 
after my death. This is of course included in the 
above general bequest to my wife. But I should not 
wish it to go from my children, & therefore after 
her death, I consider it as theirs. If my son, after 
my death, should be poor perhaps my daughter would 
purchase his right in it, at what should be judged by 
an impartial umpire a reasonable rate. The portrait 
of her mother by Opie is of course my daughter's : 
& I should not wish that of Mr. Holer oft to be 
brought to the hammer. It is further my earnest 
desire that my daughter would have the goodness to 
look over the manuscripts that shall be found in my 
own hand-writing, & decide which of them are fit 
to be printed, consigning the rest to the flames. 

I know not whether any of the letters received by 
me, will be found proper to accompany my worthier 
papers. Let her judge. 

Unless any substantial reason should be offered for 
a different destination, it is my desire that my mortal 
remains should be deposited as near as may be, to 
those of the author of A Vindication of the Rights of 
Woman, in St. Pancras' Churchyard. 



It was Shelley's wish that his son should go to a 
public school, and Mary suggested, at the end of 1830, 
that he should be sent to Eton. Sir Timothy, however, 
would not hear of it, as the place aroused painful 
memories. In regard to this proposal, he said it 
" would be highly improper, his Poor Father's being 
there would make his life very unpleasant. From 
experience I am aware whatever a boy does at a 
Public School is remember'd for ages. He had better 
remain at present where he is." Harrow was then 
proposed, but was rejected at first as being too near 
London ; but his mother subsequently arranged that 
he should go there, and he entered the school at 
Michaelmas 1832. Mrs. Shelley went to live at the 
town on the hill in the following April, so as to be 
near Percy, who liked the school and progressed ; but 
not so his mother, who was taken ill there and after- 
wards pined for the society of her friends in London. 

Mr. Whitton, who had commenced these arrange- 
ments for Percy's education, did not live to see them 
completed : he had been ailing for some time, and he 
died in July 1832. Sir Timothy strongly disapproved 
of Mary's choice, and grumbled at the expense that 
she had incurred in placing the boy in a Master's 
house. He thought that she might have obtained 
equal advantages at Westminster, Merchant Taylors', 
St. Paul's, or one of the metropolitan schools, and he 

Shelley in England 

declined to listen further to her " importunities " for 
further help. But she persisted, and Sir Timothy 
then pointed out that the sum of 6000 which he had 
agreed to advance would soon be exhausted. " She 
may not be aware," he wrote to Mr. Gregson, Whitton's 
successor, in May 1833, " of what may be the residue, 
and she observ'd too, was I afraid of losing my money. 
Haughty Dame ! " 

Mary had evidently thought of putting her son 
into the law, as Mr. Gregson observed, in a letter to her 
on December 5, 1835, that it was a very good thing 
to be a barrister if one possessed industry and perse- 
verance, but that it was a very laborious profession, 
and without those qualifications success could not be 
expected in it. He reminded her that the bulk of 
the property that Percy would inherit was amassed 
by one of his ancestors who was a lawyer in the Temple, 1 
and he added that he should be very glad to see Percy 
imitate the example. Percy was not, however, destined 
to be a lawyer. His mother arranged that he should 
leave Harrow at Easter 1836, and she placed him 
with a tutor, Mr. Morrison, vicar of Stoneleigh, near 
Leamington. In writing to Gregson of her intention, 
she said : 

" Percy is in robust health well-grown he has 

1 Edward Shelley of Field Place, Warnham (the testator of 1747) was 
of the Middle Temple. 



good spirits and a good temper. I wish Sir Tim 
would see him before he goes. It is hard that going 
into another county where I am promised that he 
shall be kindly received that he should go without 
any mark of kindness from his Father's family, who 
were not always estranged from him. He himself 
remembers that his Grandfather was at one time 
kind enough to notice him, and wonders why there 
should be any change now, when the notice would 
benefit him more." 

The care that Mary had bestowed on Percy's train- 
ing and education was productive of happy results. 
The youth, who had a good deal, of the Godwin 
placidness in his character, seems to have shown 
himself worthy of his mother's solicitude. Trelawny 
had observed in a letter to Mary, that "it is well 
for mamma, Percy has so much of her temperate 
blood. When us three meet, we shall be able to ice 
the wine by placing it between us ; that will be nice, 
as the girls say." * 

It is interesting to obtain a view of Shelley's son 
as he appeared to his mother at the age of seventeen 
and a half : a greater contrast to his father could not 
be conceived. The description is taken from a letter 
which she wrote to Trelawny from Brighton on 
January 3, 1837 : 

" Percy arrived yesterday, having rather whetted 
than satisfied his appetite by going seven times to a 

1 E. J. Trelawny to Mary W. Shelley, Hastings, Sep. 25, 1836. 


Shelley in England 

play. He plays like Apollo on the flageolet, and like 
Apollo is self-taught. Jane thinks him a miracle ! 
it is very odd. He got a frock-coat at Mettes, and, 
if you had not disappointed with your handkerchief, 
he would have been complete ; he is a good deal 
grown, though not tall enough to satisfy me ; how- 
ever, there is time yet. He is quite a child still, full 
of theatres and balloons and music, yet I think there 
is a gentleness about him which shows the advent 
of the reign of petticoats how I dread it." 

Percy Shelley subsequently went up to Trinity 
College, Cambridge, where he graduated B.A. in 
1841. We get another glimpse of him, now an under- 
graduate, and as he appeared in September 1838 to 
Gregson, who wrote of him to Sir Timothy : "He 
is rather thick-set ; but good-looking, healthy and 
well-mannered. ' ' 

Although the publication of Mary's romance The 
Last Man had been attended with unpleasant con- 
sequences, she did not abandon the writing of fiction. 
Her historical romance Perkin Warbeck, published in 
1829, was followed in 1835 by a modern novel entitled 
Lodore, which, as Professor Dowden discovered, con- 
tains a veiled autobiography describing the author's 
privations in London during the year 1814. 

With the single exception of Frankenstein, no one 
to-day reads Mary Shelley's novels, which have passed 
to the limbo of the forgotten. Her literary labours 



in another direction have met with better fortune. 
We have seen that when Sir Timothy Shelley put 
pressure on Mary to suppress her husband's Pos- 
thumous Poems, he exacted a promise from her that 
during his life she would not attempt to bring Shelley's 
name before the public. She kept this promise, 
although in 1835 she wrote to tell Mrs. Gisborne that 
she had received an offer of 600 for an edition of 
Shelley's works with a Life and notes. She added, 
" I am afraid it cannot be arranged, yet at least, and 
the Life is out of the question." 

In the early eighteen-thirties the tide was already 
turning in favour of Shelley's poetry, and, although 
there was no authoritative edition of his works, 
collections of his poems were being circulated by 
unauthorised publishers. The Galignanis of Paris had 
issued in 1829 a handsome volume containing Shelley's 
poems with those of Coleridge and Keats, together 
with short memoirs and portraits of each poet. The 
portrait of Shelley was from Miss Curran's picture, 
which was then in Mary's possession, and it is probable 
that she assisted the Paris publishers in the arrange- 
ment of her husband's poems. Among other editions 
of Shelley's poems were two volumes of selections 
brought out in 1827 with the imprint of one Benbow, 
a notorious London piratical printer. A volume of 
Benbow's issue fell into Robert Browning's hands 

Shelley in England 

when a boy, and the book, which was recently sold 
at the sale of the poet's library, bore evidences that 
it had been the object of the deepest study. 

By the year 1838, then, the time had fully arrived 
for the publication of a collected edition of Shelley's 
poetry, under the editorship of some person of autho- 
rity. The choice naturally fell to Mrs. Shelley, and 
she again ventured to approach Sir Timothy Shelley's 
legal adviser, and with some hope that her plea might 
be granted. Mr. Gregson, who was apparently a man 
of broader views than his predecessor Mr. Whitton, 
wrote on August 4, 1838, to Sir Timothy : 

" Mrs. Shelley writes to me, ' When I returned to 
England nearly fifteen years ago, Sir Timothy made it 
a condition with me that I should not publish Shelley's 
Poems. I complied. His motive was that he did 
not wish his poetry republished ; but this has not 
prevented the publication, but only prevented me 
from receiving any benefit from it. Many pirated 
editions have been published. There is now a question 
of another edition, which if I were allowed to carry 
on myself would be very advantageous to me. I wish 
therefore to learn whether I might.' I am unable to 
answer this inquiry, and have not said that I should 
write to you on the subject, but if you have any wish 
be pleased to inform me. The ' March of Intellect ' 
since 1815 has probably placed the rising generation 
in a situation to be little damaged by this poetry, 
which I have read of, but never read." 



Sir Timothy granted Mary's request, on condition 
that she did not publish a memoir of Shelley with 
his poems. She overcame this difficulty, however, by 
contributing a series of valuable notes to the poems, 
which contain many biographical facts, and constitute 
one of the most important sources of information with 
regard to the poet's life and works. In her preface 
she explained the aims that guided her in the prepara- 
tion of the work. She said : 

" Obstacles have long existed to my presenting the 
public with a perfect edition of Shelley's Poems. 
These being at last happily removed, I hasten to fulfil 
an important duty that of giving the productions of 
a sublime genius to the world, with all the correct- 
ness possible, and of, at the same time, detailing the 
history of those productions, as they sprung, living 
and warm, from his heart and brain. I abstain from 
any remark on the occurrences of his private life ; 
except inasmuch as the passions which they engen- 
dered, his poetry. This is not the time to relate the 
truth ; and I should reject any colouring of the truth." 

In dealing with the text of Queen Mob a difficulty 
arose, which Mary explained in the following letter : 

Mary W. Shelley to Leigh Hunt 

December 12, 1838. 

MY DEAR HUNT, I am about to publish an edition 
of our Shelley's Poems, Sir Tim giving leave if there 


Shelley in England 

is no biography. I want a copy of the original edition 
of Queen Mob to correct the press from it must be 
the original it would not go to the Printers, but only 
[be] used to correct from. Have you one or do you 
know who has Has Miss Kent ? I should be so 
grateful for the loan. Moxon wants me to leave out 
the sixth part as too atheistical. I don't like Atheism 
nor does he now. Yet I hate mutilation what do 
you say ? How have you been, and when does your 
Play come out ? With love to Marianne, 

Yours ever, 


Let me have the book quickly if you have it as 
the press is waiting. 

Mrs. Shelley's edition of her husband's poems was 
issued in four small volumes (the first of which came 
out early in 1839), and it was dedicated, with the 
date of January 20, to Percy Florence Shelley, " by 
his affectionate mother, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley." 
She had yielded to the wishes of Edward Moxon her 
publisher, and omitted from the text of Queen Mob 
the greater part of Canto 6, the whole of Canto 7, and 
a considerable portion of the notes. Mary soon had 
reason to regret her compliance, and wrote in her 
diary on February 12, 1839, that she wished she had 
resisted her publisher's request, but she had given way 
when she was told that the inclusion of certain portions 
of Queen Mob " would injure the copyright of all the 



volumes." She had consulted Hogg, Hunt, and Pea- 
cock, and they all said she had a right to do as she 
liked, and they themselves offered no objections. 
When the book was published, her friends seemed 
to change their views. Trelawny sent back the 
volume containing Queen Mob to Moxon in a rage, 
on seeing that the poem had not been reprinted in 
its entirety. Hogg wrote to Mary an insulting letter 
because the dedication to Harriet in Queen Mob had 
been omitted. 

Mary confided to her diary that Hogg as well as 
others had misunderstood her. She said that when 
a copy of Clarke's pirated reprint of Queen Mob had 
reached Shelley, in the year 1821, while he was at 
the Bagni di Pisa, he was gratified to see that the 
dedication to Harriet had been omitted. 1 The recollec- 
tion of this incident had actuated her to leave out 
the dedication from her reprint. " It was to do him 
honour," she wrote, " what could it be to me ? There 
are other verses I should well like to obliterate for 
ever, but they will be printed ; and any to her could 
in no way tend to my discomfort, or gratify one un- 
generous feeling. They shall be restored, though I 
do not feel easy as to the good I do Shelley. I may 
have been mistaken." Perhaps one of the poems that 

1 Clarke's reprint of Queen Mab did contain the dedication to Harriet, 
but it is absent from some copies and was lacking in the one that 
Shelley saw. 


Shelley in England 

Mary might have wished to suppress was Epipsychidion, 
which, however, she bravely printed, but without a 
word of comment. 

A new edition l of the poems was in requisition 
before the end of the year, and Mrs. Shelley prevailed 
on Moxon to let her restore the omitted passages 
from Queen Mab, and the dedication. She made some 
other small additions to and corrections in the text, 
but she also printed, for the first time, Peter Bell the 
Third, and included Swellfoot the Tyrant, which was 
entirely new to the public ; though issued in 1820 
during Shelley's lifetime, it had been promptly " stifled 
at the very dawn of its existence by the Society for 
the Suppression of Vice." Although this new edition 
satisfied Shelley's friends, and drew from Trelawny 
a friendly letter to Moxon of approval^and regret for 
having written his former hasty remonstrance, it led 
to a Government prosecution in 1841 of Moxon for 
publishing Queen Mab. The case, however, was decided 
in favour of the publisher, who was ably defended by 
Sir Thomas Noon Talfourd. 

As soon as Mary had prepared the new edition of 
Shelley's poems, she collected some of his prose writings, 
among which were The Defence of Poetry, the transla- 

1 This edition of Shelley's works in royal 8vo contained the frontispiece 
portrait of the poet which appeared in the four- volume edition, also a 
view of his tomb. On this plate is the date of 1 839, the title-page bears 
the date of 1840, and the author's postscript is dated Nov. 6, 1839. 



tions from Plato, and a selection of his admirable 
letters from Italy ; these were published in two 
volumes in 1840. The severe strain of editing these 
works of Shelley brought on an illness in the spring 
of 1839, which Mary bore with fortitude, and from 
which she happily soon recovered. About the middle 
of the following year, having completed her work, she 
was able to leave England, with Percy and a College 
friend of his, on the first of many tours on the Con- 
tinent, which is described in her Rambles in Germany 
and Italy. This, her last work, was published in 1844. 
The travellers visited some of those scenes familiar to 
Mary in former and happier times the Villa Diodati, 
Byron's residence in 1816, and the Maison Chapuis, 
where Shelley and Mary stayed in that year and 
where she began to write Frankenstein. The houses 
had remained as they were formerly, but Shelley, 
Byron, and her little William were gone, while Clare 
had drifted away. The contemplation of these changes 
no doubt produced some of those melancholy thoughts 
to which Mary was too readily prone. 

The pecuniary circumstances of Mrs. Shelley and 
her son were now much improved. Percy came of 
age in 1840, and in the following year, when he took 
his degree, his grandfather made him an allowance of 
400 a year as a gift without any condition for its 
repayment. Mr, Gregson, in writing to Sir Timothy 


Shelley in England 

on February 20, 1841, spoke of his kindness to his 
grandson, whom he hoped and believed would be 
grateful. Percy had called on the lawyer, who had 
given him his advice in regard to taking up some 
useful occupation. The young man disliked both the 
Church and the army, and there only remained the 
law, which, as Mr. Gregson had before observed, was 
very " uphill work." He recommended a course of 
reading preparatory to entering a conveyancer's 
chambers, in order to know the nature and incidents 
of the property he was to manage, and to fill the com- 
mission of peace, if he did no more. 

Much of Sir Timothy's correspondence with Gregson 
during the latter years of his life was concerned with 
Stephenson's railway, which ran through a part of 
the Shelley property. The old baronet died on April 24, 
1844. One of Sir Percy Shelley's first acts on suc- 
ceeding to the title was to pay the legacies under his 
father's will, and to carry out Shelley's intention of 
settling an income on Leigh Hunt. Mary Shelley died 
on February i, 1851, at Chester Square, where she 
had kept house with her son until his marriage in 1848, 
to Jane, daughter of Mr. Thomas Gibson, and widow 
of the Hon. Charles Robert St. John. Sir Percy 
settled near Bournemouth about the year 1850, having 
purchased the Boscombe Manor estates, and he con- 
tinued to live there for the remainder of his life. If 


kind permission of Mr. Walter Withall, who took this photoaraph on the 
leads of the Shelley Theatre, Tite Street, Chelsea, in 1881. 


To face page 624. 


he did not specially inherit from his parents their 
literary gifts, he possessed, like his father, a passion 
for sailing. At his death he was one of the oldest 
members of the Royal Yacht Squadron, and he had 
owned successively about a dozen yachts, the names 
of which were The Mary, Wildfire, Ginevra, Jane, 
Enchantress, Flirt, Nokken, Queen Mab, Extravaganza, 
Wren, and Oceana. The last-named was in his pos- 
session at the time of his death, and was a boat of some 
250 tons. This yacht was originally named Thais, but 
Sir Percy said that he had given her a more respectable 
reputation by renaming her Oceana as a tribute to 
Stevenson. Sir Percy was very fond of the Mediter- 
ranean, and spent many winters cruising from Gibraltar 
to the Greek islands and the Black Sea, but he was 
specially attracted to the Gulf of Spezzia, in the waters 
of which his father had met his death. 

When he was at home, Sir Percy engaged much of 
his time in the production of plays from his own 
pen at one of his private theatres ; either at that 
which he had built at Boscombe Manor or at the 
theatre in Tite Street, near Shelley House, Chelsea 
Embankment. He not only provided the plays him- 
self, but he composed the music and painted the 
scenery with great ability. Sir Percy was a painter 
of considerable gifts, which were well displayed in 
his drop scenes. At the opening of the Tite Street 

625 2 K 

Shelley in England 

theatre one of his drop scenes, used for the first time 
on that occasion, was described as " Shelley's Last 
Home," and showed the poet's house at Lerici in the 
Bay of Spezzia. 

These amateur performances, in which Sir Percy 
and Lady Shelley frequently took part, were often 
given for some good cause, for he was a liberal supporter 
of the charitable and religious institutions at Bourne- 
mouth, and soon after the Baptist Chapel was built 
at Boscombe he was to be seen worshipping there 
from time to time. He has been described to me 
by one who knew him for years as a versatile and a 
very lovable man ; but one of his peculiarities was 
his disinclination to talk about his father. 

A characteristic anecdote may be told of Sir Percy, 
who is said to have remarked in a casual manner to 
a friend with whom he was driving across the Serpen- 
tine, that " that is the place where my father's first 
wife drowned herself." He would sometimes show 
his visitors at Boscombe Manor the discoloured little 
Sophocles that was found on Shelley's body and the 
eleven companion volumes bound in white vellum 
close by it, which offered a striking contrast. 

Lady Shelley was an enthusiast where the poet or his 
mother was concerned, and her name figures as the 
editor on the title-page of The Shelley Memorials, 
although that book is said to have been the work of 



either the late Dr. Richard Garnett or Thomas Hook- 
ham, Shelley's old friend and correspondent, the Bond 
Street publisher, who in later years assisted Sir Percy 
Shelley in the purchase of letters by his father. 

Among his friends Sir Percy counted Robert Louis 
Stevenson, who was living at Bournemouth shortly 
before he left England for the South Seas, and he 
dedicated The Master of Ballantrae to him, with the 
following inscription, " To Sir Percy Florence and 
Lady Shelley as fellow sea-farers and sea-lovers " 
with the author, from " the loud shores of a sub- 
tropical island near upon 10,000 miles from Boscombe 
Chine and Manor ; scenes which rise before me as I 
write, along with faces and voices of my friends. . . . 
Well, I am for the sea once more ; no doubt Sir Percy 
also. Let us make the signal B.R.D." The dedica- 
tion is dated May 17, 1889. Sir Percy lived to read 
the book, but he was in failing health during that 
year. He passed away at Boscombe on December 5, 
and was buried in the grave where his mother lies, 
at St. Peter's, Bournemouth, on December 10, 1889, 
having just completed his seventieth year. 



OXFORD (see p. 144) 

John Slatter to Sir Timothy Shelley 

January 9, 1823. 

SIR, In consequence of your son's death I again applied 
to Mr. Longdill to settle my account against your son but 
can obtain no answer, so I have inclosed his acknowledge- 
ment of the money but likewise his reference to Mr. Longdill 
when resident at Marlom to you, the repayment of which 
I have your honour as the circumstance of your son's 
being introduced into my family is best known to yourself, 
and remain yours, 


Plumber and Glazier, 
High Street. 

[In Sir Timothy's writing on the letter is the following :] 

" Tolerably impudent. 

" Sir T. S. lodged with Mr. Slatter's Family the whole 
time he was at Oxford and when he went there occasionally, 
and Sir T. S. did desire Mr. Slatter to advise his son against 
any irregularities he might see particularly not to get into 
debt, for which there was no occasion as he had an ample 


Shelley in England 

Mr. Whitton to J. Slatter 

January 15, 1823. 

SIR, Sir Tim Shelley has sent me your letter and the 
papers enclosed therein and if you will send a person for 
them the same shall be delivered. If Sir Tim Shelley 
did make his son known to you it was not with the wish 
that you should lend him money as Sir Tim well knew 
what was proper for his son to spend and that he allowed. 

The officious interference of you and of others did a 
most serious injury to the Gent that is now no more it 
led him into expenses and a Society and conduct the very 
reverse of what Sir Tim wished. 

It may therefore be unnecessary for me to say that you 
must take your own conduct to recover what you say 
you advanced to Mr. Shelley, as Sir Tim declines making 
any payment to you on account of it and any further 
application to him or to me on the subject will be considered 
an intrusion. Yr. Hble. Servt., 


[Envelope addressed] 


Plumber and Glazier, 

Henry Slatter to Sir Timothy Shelley 

August 13, 1831. 

SIR, It is with feelings of great diffidence that I venture 
to approach you knowing that the subject matter must 
be painful to a Father's feelings, but having suffered very 


Appendix I 

much in consequence of a honest endeavour to save your 
son from flying to Jews for the purpose of obtaining money 
at an enormous rate of interest, I therefore lay the case 
before you. 

Your Son while at College became acquainted with a 
person of the name of Brown but who was living at Oxford 
under the assumed name of Bird. Of him he agreed to 
purchase a work of his writing for 600. Mr. Shelley 
applied to us to procure the money for him and he would 
repay us when he became of age, or he should have to go 
to London and borrow money of the money-lenders on 
post-obit bonds : this we dissuaded him from and endeavoured 
to raise the money for him as he agreed we should be the 
Printers and Publishers of his work. 200 of this sum 
was paid out of our pockets in cash and the remainder we 
became joint security with him to a person of the name of 
Hedges for 400 and were arrested for the amount at the 
suit of Hedges by Mr. Graham, Solicitor of Abingdon, 
with Law expenses and Principal and interest on the whole 
sum. We have lost upwards of 1300. 

The whole is justly our due, but we only ask the Bond 
and interest thereon having suffered both in body and mind 
so much in consequence of it. I remain at Worthing three 
weeks longer my family being here for the benefit of their 
health after which I shall be in Oxford, but a letter addressed 
at the latter place would not at all times find me. 

I shall be most ready to wait on you to give you any 
further information or to show you the bond which is now 
in my possession. I have the honor to be, Sir, your very 
obedient Servt., 


etc., etc., etc. 

Shelley in England 


Bond to John Hedges, dated 25 March 1811, 

of Percy Bysshe Shelley, Esq. . . 400 o o 
Interest on ditto at 5 per cent, per annum 

to 25 June 1831 . . . 405 o o 

805 o o 

The above sums have been paid for and on Acct. of 
Percy Bysshe Shelley, Esq., by Joseph Munday and Henry 
Slatter, late Co-Partners at Oxford, Printers and Book- 
sellers, in consequence of proceedings against them by 
Wm. Graham, Esq., Solicitor, Abingdon, at the suit of 

The following is a later statement of the account sent 
after the death of Sir Timothy Shelley in 1844 : 

March 25, 1811. 

To Money advanced to Mr. Bird for his MS. 
work on Sweden, viz., 200 in Notes of 
Hand and 400 raised by joint Bond of 
John Hedges, and paid by the late 
Joseph Munday and his surviving Part- 
ner, Henry Slatter, on account of Percy 
Bysshe Shelley, Esq., viz. . . . 600 o o 

Sept. 29. Interest 33 and \ years thereon . 1005 o o 

1605 o o 
[Endorsed] P. B. Shelley, Esq. (dec d -) 

Mr. Henry Slatter, Bookseller, Oxford. 



(see p. 396) 

In Roberts' first letter written to Sir Timothy Shelley 
after the death of P. B. S. he refers to a loan to the poet 
of 6 only. In the second letter to Peacock, after Sir 
Timothy Shelley's death, he asks for 30. Whether this 
sum represents compound interest on 6 for twenty years 
or not, it is impossible to say. The Owen Williams men- 
tioned in the third letter was a brother of Shelley's corre- 
spondent John Williams, to whom he wrote from Tanyrallt 
on April 14, 1814, "We are in immediate want of money, 
could you borrow 25 in my name to paying little debts ? 
I know your brother could lend me that sum. I think 
you could ask him on such an occasion as this." 

William Roberts to Sir Timothy Shelley 

February 7, 1824. 

SIR, I took the liberty of writing to you a few years 
ago respecting Six pounds which your son was indebted 
to me. I assure you it is a very hard case with me to be 
without the money ; really it would be an object to me now, 
if you would be kind enough to enclose them. As your 
son is dead I have no other person to apply to but yourself ; 
you will, I trust, consider the justice of the claim and favor 


Shelley in England 

me with an answer when convenient. I am, Sir, your 
obedient servt., 


William Roberts to T. L. Peacock 

June 12, 1844. 

SIR, Having lately seen an account of the death of 
Sir Timothy Shelley, may I be allowed to hope you will 
pardon the liberty of my troubling you on the following 

About 30 years ago since, his son Mr. P. B. Shelley 
was arrested in this town for a sum of money which he 
owed, and he would have been put in Gaol if I had not 
bailed him for the amount. Thus our acquaintance 
commenced, and soon after he sent for me to attend His 
family at Tremadoc, 20 miles from this place. I also 
lent him some money which he never paid, so he left 
the country 30 in my debt. When I called upon you 
at the India House last Septr. you encouraged me with 
the hope that I should have this 30 in the event 
of your surviving Sir Timothy. The whole therefore I 
beg respectfully to submit to your sense of justice. If 
I can be of any use to you in this country I hope you will 
not hesitate to command my service. 

My kindest regards to Mrs. Peacock. The favour of 
an answer would greatly oblige, Sir, your very humble 



N.B.It may be proper to observe that Mr. Shelley 
paid the money for which he was arrested. 

I suppose the Executors of Owen Williams, the Anglesea 
farmer, have applied to you. 


Appendix II 

Hugh Owen to T. L. Peacock 

December 12, 1844. 

DEAR SIR, According to the kind permission which 
you gave me this morning I now beg to lay before you 
the claim of my old friend and neighbour Mrs. Williams, 
the Widow of the late Owen Williams of Gelliniog Wen, 
Parish of Llangeinwen, Anglesey. 

Many years ago, I believe upwards of 30 (I find I 
have no memorandum of the date), Owen Williams, then 
residing at Tydden Newborough, Anglesey, advanced 
on the application of Mr. Williams of Tyhurit ir Bwlch 
Tremmadock, to Mr. Percy Shelley the sum of 100, as 
security for which Mr. Shelley gave to him (Owen Williams) 
a Bond stipulating for the payment of 200 on the death 
of Mr. Shelley's father and grandfather. 

No part of this money, which was the hard earnings of 
a very small farmer, has ever been repaid : neither has 
any interest ever been received. 

The payment of the money now would be of essential 
service to the poor Widow, and I venture to solicit your 
kind interference on her behalf with those who have the 
management of the Shelley Family. 

I have the honour to be, Dear Sir, your faithful servt., 


etc., etc., etc. 



(see page 408) 

John Dumbreck to Sir Timothy Shelley 

EDINBURGH, July 4, 1823. 

SIR, I use the freedom of prefixing state of Account 
due to me by your late son, John B. Shelley, Esq., con- 
tracted while in Edinburgh in 1813. 

I have frequently applied for payment to Mr. Shelley's 
Agents in London (Messrs. Londill & Butter field) who 
delayed paying on the ground of Mr. Shelley's being abroad 
and their having no instructions to that effect. 

Mr. William Dumbrick of the Hotel St. Andrews Sqr. 
here is bound to me for the debt, who when in London 
some time ago called on Messrs. Londill & Butterfield 
with the Account, who agreed to pay it, but his stay in 
Town being exceedingly limited he had not time to call 
on these Gentlemen again. 

Mr. Dumbrick agreed to see my Account paid in con- 
sequence of my declining to part with Mr. Shelley's carriage 
after repairing it, but being sensible that this will be a 
serious loss to Mr. Dumbrick I have judged it proper to 
state the case to you trusting you will see the impropriety 
of my insisting on payment from Mr. Dumbrick, he having 
no further interest in the matter than a wish to oblige a 
customer (as Mr. Shelley was). 

I therefore hope you will order payment to be made to 
prevent my taking legal measures to force payment from 


Appendix III 

Mr. Dumbrick which I shall be reluctantly compelled to, 
in the event of your declining to settle my just claim. 
I remain with much respect, Sir, your most obt. Servant, 


Please address to me, Coachmaker, Edinburgh. 

J. B. SHELLEY, Esq., 1813. To JOHN DUMBRECK . 

Nov. i. For unhanging the chariot body, 
taking off the eight springs, tak- 
ing them asunder, putting in 8 
new main Plates, 4 new steel, 
pulling the springs together again 
and fixing them on . . 580 

,, i new double-screwed Hasp for screw- 
ing the other 3 Hasps, 13 new 
bolts, 2 new blocks, hanging the 
body, painting and picking out 
the 8 springs .... 240 

,, New leather for the front, lined with 
shalloon and screwed to the top 
of the dicky . . . . 080 

,, Taking off the side curtains, making 
them waterproof, putting in 2 
strong frames with glass doors, 
and fixing on the curtains . . 0160 

,, Cleaning the body and carriage, and 

greasing the wheels . . . 030 
2 new lamps, and putting them on . 3 3 o 

A new floor-cloth cover for hind 

boot ...... 076 

,, Wax candles for the lamps . . 050 
Slanee for carriage . . . . 140 

i3 18 6 
Interest due on this account 6 i 6 

20 o o 

Shelley in England 

T". Charters to T. L. Peacock 

August 31, 1844. 

SIR, Being a creditor of the late Percy Bysshe Shelley, 
Esq., for Coachmaker's work done for him up to Novr. 
1815 to the amount of 532, us. 6d. for which I hold his 
Bill of Exchange drawn at Four years after date with 
Judgment entered up to secure payment and not having 
hitherto received any benefit from it in consequence of 
the unfortunate decease of the said P. B. Shelley, Esq., 
and the non-execution of his will, I respectfully beg to 
solicit your attention to my claim, and in your capacity 
as Executor to that Will, crave your kind endeavours 
to obtain for me some arrangement from the family now 
in possession of the property by which you will be rendering 
me a most essential service and which will at all times be 
gratefully acknowledged, and acknowledged by, Sir, your 
very obedient humble servant, 




18 Stamford Street, 



(see page 442) 


dated 22 March, 1814 


BYSSHE SHELLEY of the Parish of Saint George 
Hanover Square in the County of Middlesex Gentleman 
and JOHN WESTBROOK of the same Parish Gentleman are 
holden and firmly bound to the most Reverend Father in 
God, CHARLES by Divine Providence, Lord Archbishop of 
Canterbury, Primate of all England and Metropolitan in 
the Sum of Two Hundred Pounds of good and lawful 
Money of Great Britain to be paid to the said most Reverend 
Father or his certain Attorney, Successor, or Assigns ; 
To which Payment well and truly to be made, we bind 
ourselves, and each of us by himself, for the whole, our 
executors and administrators firmly by these Presents, 
Sealed with our Seals Dated the twenty second day of 
March in the Year of our Lord One Thousand eight hundred 
and fourteen. 

The Condition of this Obligation is such, That if here- 
after there shall not appear any lawful Let or Impediment 
by Reason of any Precontract entered into before the 
twenty fifth day of March, which was in the Year of our 
Lord One thousand seven hundred and fifty four, 1 Con- 

1 By Statute 26 G. 2, c. 33, intituled " An Act for the better 
preventing of Clandestine Marriages," it was enacted that all marri- 
ages solemnized by License after the 25th Mar. 1754, where either 
of the parties should be under 21, which should be had without the 
consent of the parent of such parties under age first obtained, 
should be null and void. 


Shelley in England 

sanguinity, affinity or any other cause whatsoever ; but 
that the above bounden Percy Bysshe Shelley and Harriet 
Shelley Minor heretofore Westbrook having been already 
married may lawfully solemnise Marriage together and in 
the same afterwards lawfully remain and continue for 
Man and Wife, according to the Laws in that behalf pro- 
vided : And moreover, if there be not at this present 
time any Action Suit, Plaint, Quarrel or Demand moved 
or depending before any Judge Ecclesiastical or Temporal 
for or concerning any such lawful Impediment between 
the said Parties Nor that either of them be of any other 
Place or of better Estate or Degree than to the judge at 
granting of this Licence is suggested and by him Sworn 
to by and with the consent of the above bounden John 
Westbrook the natural and lawful Father of the said Minor. 
And if the same Marriage shall be openly solemnised 
in the Church or Chapel in the Licence specified, between 
the hours appointed in the Constitutions ecclesiastically 
confirmed and according to the Form of the Book of 
Common Prayer now by law established ; and lastly, if 
the said parties do save harmless and indemnify the above 
mentioned Most Reverend Father in God, his Vicar Gen- 
eral, and his Surrogates and all other his Officers whatso- 
ever, by reason of the Premises ; then this Obligation 
to be void or else to remain in full Force and Virtue. 

Signed sealed and de- 
livered (having been 
first duly stamped) in 
the presence of 

C. H. SIMS. 





(see page 443) 

Since the greater part of this book was printed my atten- 
tion has been drawn to a letter written by William Godwin 
to John Taylor of Gildengate, Norwich, under the date 
of November 8, 1814, in regard to Shelley's elopement 
with his daughter Mary in the preceding summer. Jane 
Clairmont, afterwards known as Claire, accompanied the 
fugitives. It is curious to note that Godwin mentions that 
Shelley and his companions stayed three weeks in Switzer- 
land, whereas it is generally understood that they remained 
only forty-eight hours at the chateau near Lucerne on the 
borders of the Lake of the Four Cantons. The owner of 
the letter, Miss Westcott, has very kindly permitted me 
to print the following extract : 

" When I last wrote to you, I understood that these 
unhappy girls, with their pretended protector, had fixed 
their abode in Switzerland, with fifty pounds in their 
pockets. How great was our surprise then on the i6th 
of September to receive a letter informing us that they 
were already in Margaret Street, Cavendish Square, 
London ! They had taken, it seems, an old, ruinous chateau 
in Switzerland ; but finding that the climate was cold, and 
the situation not solitary, but surrounded with inquisitive 
neighbours, at the end of three weeks, they turned round, 
and travelled with the utmost expedition for England. 

641 2 S 

Shelley in England 

This has been a cruel aggravation of our distress. Distance, 
like time, tends to mitigate the anguish of human feelings ; 
but with them thus as it were at our doors, and the chance 
of hearing of them every hour, we cannot for a moment 
lose sight of the fatal event." 

Godwin then goes on to state that his wife was very 
anxious to recover her daughter Jane [Claire] who was 
acting from " a childish love of new things." She had 
been spoken to by Godwin and by some sage friend and 
had seen Fanny to no purpose. The Godwins thought 
of taking the girl by force, but refrained from such a course. 
All they seem to have done was to propose that Jane should 
become a governess, but not liking that they proposed 
that they would find a family where she should be received 
on the footing of a visitor merely. Jane replied that 
no consideration should part her from " her present friends," 
but she offered to comply on two conditions, viz., " that 
she should in all situations openly proclaim and earnestly 
support, a total contempt for the laws and institutions 
of society, and that no restraint should be imposed upon 
her correspondence and intercourse with those from whom 
she was separated." The Godwins declined to comply with 
these conditions. 




March 1815. By a DEED POLL of this date under the hand and 
RECITING (among other things) the Will of his grandfather 
Sir Bysshe Shelley (dated 1805) and a Codicil thereto 
dated the 2Qth October 1811 AND AFTER RECITING that 
the said Percy Bysshe Shelley not considering the benefits 
conditionally conferred on him by the said Will as a 
sufficient inducement for him to relinquish his Estate 
tail expectant on the death of the survivor of Sir Bysshe 
Shelley and his father Timothy Shelley of and in the 
Manors and other hereditaments comprised in the Inden- 
tures of Settlement dated 20 August 1791 and 30 September 
1782 had determined not to comply with the conditions 
contained in the said Codicil but to renounce and disclaim all 
right under the said Will IT WAS WITNESSED that the said 
PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY did thereby for himself and his heirs 
irrevocably renounce and disclaim unto all persons what- 
soever interested in the premises all such estate benefit 
and advantage whatsoever into from or out of the heredits 
and premises devised and bequeathed by the said Will 
of the sd. Sir Bysshe Shelley or any Codicil thereto and 
from or out of the moiety of the residuary personal Estate 
of the said Sir Bysshe. 1 

1 By the execution of this deed Percy Bysshe deprived his issue 
male of the very considerable benefits which they otherwise would 
have taken under Sir Bysshe's will and which benefits in consequence 
passed to his brother John and his issue male. Sir Bysshe's residuary 
personal estate alone amounted to ^143,675, 123. 5d., as appears 
from the Chancery proceedings. 




13 May 1815. By INDENTURE of this date made between PERCY 
BYSSHE SHELLEY of Marchmont Street Brunswick 
Square of the first part SIR TIMOTHY SHELLEY of the second 
part and ROBERT PARKER (the brother-in-law of Timothy) of 
the third part AFTER RECITING the Will of the said John 
Shelley and a Fine levied by Percy Bysshe with the concur- 
rence of Timothy AND AFTER RECITING that Percy Bysshe 
lately proposed to Timothy that if Timothy would give him 
an adequate consideration for his concurrence in exercising 
a certain joint power of appointment in such manner as 
would vest in Timothy the fee in the Estates devised 
by the Will of John Shelley he the said Percy Bysshe 
would concur in all acts necessary for that purpose AND 
AFTER RECITING that on a discussion of the said proposals 
of the said Percy Bysshe it was agreed between him and 
his father that the consideration should consist partly 
of the payment of a sum of money and partly of an Annuity 
to be paid by the said Timothy AND AFTER RECITING that 
Timothy and Percy Bysshe afterwards fixed the said 
Annuity at 1000 AND AFTER RECITING that both the 
said Timothy and Percy Bysshe had consulted with their 
friends and professional advisers on various statements 
made between them as to the value of the said Estate 
devised by the said Will and of their interest therein and 


Appendix VII 

that they the said Timothy and Percy Bysshe having 
taken the same into their consideration they had agreed 
with each other that the sum of 7400 should be paid 
IT WAS WITNESSED that in consideration of 7400 paid 
by Timothy to Percy Bysshe and of the payment of an 
annuity of 1000 to be paid by Timothy to Percy Bysshe 
during the joint lives of Timothy and Percy Bysshe THEY 
Timothy and Percy Bysshe (in exercise of the joint power 
of appointment reserved to them) did appoint the Estates 
devised by the said Will of John Shelley TO SUCH USES as 
Timothy should by any deed or by his Will appoint. 




13 May 1815. BY INDENTURE of this date made between SIR 
SHELLEY of the second part and the said ROBERT PARKER 
of the third part AFTER RECITING (among other things) 
that the said Percy Bysshe Shelley having a wife and two 
children unprovided for and having contracted debts to 
a considerable amount had made a certain proposal to the 
said Sir Timothy Shelley and that the said Sir Timothy 
Shelley had taken such proposal into consideration and as 
well for the purpose of enabling the said Percy Bysshe 
Shelley to make a suitable provision for his said wife and 
children as for delivering him from his embarrassments 
the said Sir Timothy Shelley had agreed to comply with 
such proposal and to advance the said Percy Bysshe 
Shelley a certain sum of money for payment of his debts 
and to secure to the said Percy Bysshe Shelley payment 
of an annual sum of one thousand pounds during the joint 
lives of the said Sir Timothy Shelley and Percy Bysshe 
Shelley IT WAS WITNESSED that the said SIR TIMOTHY 
during their joint lives THE ANNUAL SUM OF ONE THOUSAND 
POUNDS payable in quarterly instalments on the 25th 
day of March the 24th day of June the 2gth day of Sep- 
tember and the 25th day of December in every year and 
charged certain lands of Sir Timothy Shelley with the 
payment of the said Annuity. 1 

1 There is no copy of this deed among the Shelley- Whitton papers. 
The above abstract has been made from Longdill's affidavit in the 
Shelley v. Westbrook litigation. 



(see page 476) 



December u, 1816 

St. Margaret 

List of the Jury : John Smith, Daniel Lounds, Richard 
Jones, Henry Taylor, Wm. Rumbell, Thomas Bailey, 
Abm. Sarvis, George Cope, Saml. House, Richd. 
Tirds, Robt. Smith, Thomas Holland.] 


Liberty of I MARGARET WESTMINSTER within the Said 

Westminster > to wit. 

in the County ( Liberty of Westminster. 

of Middlesex; 

The Execution By virtue of my Office these are in his Majesty's 
of this Warrant Name to charge and command you that on Sight 
Schedule here^ hereof you summon & warn Twenty-four able and 
to annexed sufficient Men of the said Liberty, personally to be 
and appear before me on Wednesday the Eleventh 
Da Y of December by Twelve of the Clock at noon 
of the same Day at the house of Thomas Phillips 
known by the sign of the Fox Knightsbridge then and there 
to do and execute all such Things as shall be given them in 
Charge, on the Behalf of our Sovereign Lord the King's 
Majesty touching the death of Harriet Smith and for 
your so doing this is your Warrant. And that you also 
attend at the Time and Place above-mentioned, to make 
a Return of the names of those you shall so summon And 


Shelley in England 

further to do and execute such other Matters as shall be 
then & there enjoined you, and have you then and there 
this Warrant Given under my Hand and Seal this Tenth 
Day of December in the year of our Lord 1816. 

(Signed) JNO. HY. GELL 




December n, 1816 

St. Margt. Westr. 

Verdict : Found dead in the Serpentine River.] 

City and INFORMATION OF WITNESSES taken this eleventh day 
Westminster of December One thousand eight hundred and six- 
in the County teen at the House of Thomas Phillips known by the 
si S n of the Fox si tuate in Knightsbridge in the 
Parish of Saint Margaret Westminster, on view of 
the Body of Hariet [sic] Smith then and there lying dead 
as follows to wit 

JOHN LEVESLEY of No. 38 Dennings Alley Bishopsgate 
Street Without an Out Pensr. belonging to Chelsea 
Hospital being sworn saith as follows : 

About 10 o'clock yesterday Morning the loth day of 
December instant I was walking by the side of the Ser- 
pentine on my way to Kensington and observed something 
floating on the River which conceiving to be a human 
Body I called to a boy on the opposite side to bring his 
Boat which after some time he did to the side of the bank 
of the River on which I stood. I got into the boat & found 
that it was the Body of the deceased quite dead, there 
appeared no sign of life and I have no doubt that the 
Body must have lain in the Water some days. 

(Signed) JOHN LEAVSLEY [sic] 


Appendix IX 

WILLIAM ALDER a Lodger at the Fox Public House 
aforesaid, Plumber, being sworn saith as follows : 

I knew the deceased she resided at No. 7 Elizabeth 
Street Hans Place she was a married Woman but did not 
live with her husband she had been missing as I was 
informed from her House upwards of a Month, and at the 
request of her Parents when she had been absent about 
a week I dragged the Serpentine River and all the ponds 
near thereto without effect the deceased having for some- 
time labored under lowness of Spirits which I had observed 
for several months before and I conceived that something 
lay heavy on her Mind. On hearing yesterday that a 
Body was found I went and recognized it to be the de- 
ceased she was about 21 years of age and was married 
about 5 years. 

(Signed) WM. ALDER. 

UANE THOMAS of 7 Elizabeth Street Hans Place, Widow, 
being sworn saith as follows : 

The deceased occupied the second floor in my House 
she took them accompanied by a Mr. Alder, she stated 
that she was a married lady & that her Husband was 
abroad she took them from month to month she had 
been with me about 9 weeks on the gth of November last, 
she paid her month's Rent on the Thursday preceding 
she appeared in the family way and was during the time 
she lived in my House in a very desponding and gloomy 
way on the gth of November last she left my House as 
I was informed by my servant Mary Jones I did not see 
the deceased that day. 

(Signed) JANE THOMAS. 

MARY JONES, Servant to the last Witness, being sworn 
saith as follows : 

On Saturday the ninth of November last the deceased 
breakfasted and dined in her Apartments, she told me 


Shelley in England 

previously that she wished to dine early & she dined 
about 4 o'clock she said very little, she chiefly spent her 
time in Bed. I saw nothing but what was proper in her 
Conduct with the exception of a continual lowness of Spirits 
she left her Apartment after Dinner which did not 
occupy her more than 10 minutes I observed she was 
gone out on my going into her room about 5 o'clock that 
day. I never saw or heard from her afterwards. 

The x mark of 



December n, 1816 

St. Margt.< Westr. 

Verdict : Found dead in the Serpentine River.] 

city and \ AN Inquisition Indented taken for our Sovereign 

Liberty of I Lord the King at the House of Thomas Phillips 

l< '* 

known by the Sign of the Fox in Knightsbridge 
of Middlesex; | n foe p ar i s h o f Saint Margaret Westminster 

within the Liberty of the Dean and Chapter of the Col- 
legiate Church of St. Peter, Westminster, in the County 
of Middlesex, the Eleventh day of December in the Fifty- 
seventh Year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord George 
the Third by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom 
of Great Britain and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, 
before John Henry Gell Esq. Coroner of our said Lord the 
King for the said City and Liberty, on view of the body 
of Hariet [sic] then and there lying dead, 

upon the oath of the several Jurors whose names are 
hereunder written, and Seals affixed, good and lawful 
Men of the said Liberty, duly chosen, who being then 
and there duly sworn and charged to enquire for our said 
Lord the King, when, how, and by what Means the said 
Harriet [sic] Smith came to her Death, do upon their 
Oath say, that the said Harriet Smith on the tenth day of 
December in the year aforesaid at the Parish aforesaid 


Appendix IX 

in the City Liberty and County aforesaid was found dead 
in the Serpentine River, to wit near Kensington in the 
Parish City Liberty and County aforesaid, that the said 
Harriet Smith had no marks of violence appearing on her 
body, but how or by what means she became dead, no 
evidence thereof does appear to the Jurors. 

In witness whereof, as well the said Coroner as the 
Jurors have to this Inquisition set their Hands and Seals 
the Day, Year and Place first above written. 


The X mark of 



The X mark of 











GODWIN IN 1816 (see page 488) 


Dated 28 Deer. 1816 
Vicar General's Office 28 December 1816 

Which day appeared personally PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY 
and made Oath, that he is of the Parish of Saint Mildred 
Bread Street London a Widower and intendeth to inter- 
marry with MARY WALLSTONECRAFT [sic] GODWIN of the 
City of Bath Spinster a minor of the age of nineteen years & 
upwards but under the age of twenty one years by & with 
the consent of William Godwin the natural & lawful Father 
of the said minor and that he knoweth of no lawful impedi- 
ment, by reason of any Precontract, Consanguinity, Affinity 
or other lawful cause whatsoever, to hinder the said in- 
tended Marriage, and prayed a Licence to solemnize the 
same in the Parish Church of Saint Mildred Bread Street 
aforesaid and further made Oath, that the usual place of 
abode of the appearer hath been in the said Parish of Saint 
Mildred Bread Street for the space of four weeks last past. 


Then appeared personally the said WILLIAM GODWIN 
and made Oath that he is the natural & lawful Father of 
the said minor & freely consents to the above intended 


Sworn before me, S. PARSON. Sur 


Appendix X 

Dated 28 Deer. 1816 


BYSSHE SHELLEY of the Parish of Saint Mildred Bread 
Street London Gentleman & WILLIAM GODWIN of the City 
of Bath Gentleman are holden and firmly bound to the 
most Reverend Father in God, CHARLES, by Divine Provi- 
dence, Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, Primate of all 
England, and. Metropolitan, in the sum of Two Hundred 
Pounds of good and lawful Money of Great Britain to be 
paid to the said most Reverend Father, or his certain 
Attorney, Successor, or Assigns : To which Payment well 
and truly to be made, we bind ourselves, and each of us 
by himself, for the whole, our executors and adminis- 
trators firmly by these Presents Sealed with our Seals 
Dated the twenty eighth day of December in the Year of 
our Lord One Thousand Eight hundred and sixteen. 

The condition of this Obligation is such, That if here- 
after there shall not appear any lawful Let or Impediment 
by Reason of any Precontract entered into before the 
twenty fifth day of March, which was in the Year of our 
Lord One thousand seven hundred and fifty four, Con- 
sanguinity, Affinity or any other Cause whatsoever ; but 
that the above bounden Percy Bysshe Shelley a Widower 
& Mary Wallstonecraft [sic] Godwin Spinster a Minor may 
lawfully solemnize Marriage together and in the same after- 
wards lawfully remain and continue for Man and Wife, 
according to the Laws in that behalf provided ; And 
moreover, if there be not at this present Time any Action, 
Suit, Plaint, Quarrel, or Demand, moved or depending 
before any Judge, Ecclesiastical or Temporal for or con- 
cerning any such lawful Impediment between the said 
Parties Nor that either of them be of any other Place, or 
of better Estate or Degree than to the Judge at granting 


Shelley in England 

of this Licence is suggested and by him sworn by & with 
the consent of the said William Godwin the natural & 
lawful Father of the said Minor. 

And if the same Marriage shall be openly solemnized in 
the Church or Chapel in the License specified, between the 
Hours appointed in the Constitutions ecclesiastically con- 
firmed, and according to the Form of the Book of Common 
Prayer, now by Law established ; and, lastly, if the said 
parties do save harmless and indemnify the above men- 
tioned Most Reverend Father in God, his Vicar General, 
and his Surrogates, and all other his Officers whatsoever, 
by Reason of the Premises ; then this Obligation to be 
void or else to remain in full Force and Virtue. 

Signed sealed and de- PERCY B YSSHE SHELLEY 
livered (having been 
first duly stamped) in 
the presence of 




JEFFRIES ESDAILE (see page 515) 

/. Gregson to Sir Timothy Shelley 

July 29, 1837. 

DEAR SIR TIMOTHY, Mr. Esdaile is the eldest son of the 
eldest son of old Mr. Esdaile of the late firm of Esdaile & 
Co. the bankers of Lombard St. Mr. Esdaile, the father 
of the intended, had a considerable property on his mother's 
side. His father the banker also, I believe, settled a large 
sum upon him. He was never in business and consequently 
escaped the recent misfortune. He has lived as a country 
gentleman in Somersetshire, and is, I believe, a very 
estimable person, and his son will make a very respectable 
match for the young lady upon whom report says that 
Mr. Beauchamp intends to bestow a fortune. I have it 
stated that Mr. Edward Esdaile has 4000 per annum, but 
my own impression is that this is an exaggeration. We 
were certainly beaten by bribery at Leominster. I did not 
know that Mr. Greenaway was a connection of Mr. Hurst. 
He cannot retain his seat if the affair be followed up. 
Yrs., etc., 




Shelley in England 

Mrs. Parker to Sir Timothy Shelley 

December 13, 1837. 

MY DEAR BROTHER, lanthe 1 and Mr. Esdaile lunched 
with me. She seemed very well and very happy he 
behaved perfectly like a gentleman and very attentive 
to his wife. They were going to Bristol that evening to 
visit her Aunt before she returned to her own home. She 
promised to write to me, but I have never heard a word 
of or from her since, and Mr. Esdaile said he would remind 
her to write as soon as she got home. Spoke much of the 
pleasure they had in their visit at Field Place, but Mr. 
Beauchamp was going to London upon business and wished 
to see them before he went and she said we must not dis- 
appoint him. . . .Your affectionate sister, 


1 In September 1837 Eliza lanthe Shelley (Shelley's eldest child 
by his first wife Harriet), then of Watford House, Somerset, was 
married to Edward Jeffries Esdaile, the younger son of E. J. Esdaile 
the elder, of Cothelbestone House, Somerset. 

On her marriage she settled the legacy of ^6000 bequeathed to 
her by the will of her father. 



2 T 


TRELAWNY states that when he left Leghorn on August 13, 1822, 
and went on board Byron's boat the Bolivar to superintend 
the burning of the bodies of Shelley and Williams, he "had 
previously engaged two large feluccas, with drags and tackling, 
to go before, and endeavour to find the place where Shelley's 
boat had foundered." Having ascertained the spot where the 
Ariel had last been seen afloat, they succeeded in finding 
her, but failed to get her up. Trelawny wrote to Captain 
Roberts, who was at Genoa, and asked him to " complete the 
business." Roberts was successful in bringing the boat to 
the surface, and he anchored her off Via Reggio. On Sep- 
tember 1 8, he wrote to Trelawny to say that by Byron's 
advice he had sold the Ariel by auction, and she realised a 
trifle more than two hundred dollars, and he had divided the 
proceeds with the crew of the felucca who had been employed 
in getting her up. Out of the hull, he said, " we fished clothes, 
books, spyglass, and other articles. We found in the boat two 
memorandum-books of Shelley's quite perfect, and another 
damaged, a journal of Williams' quite perfect, written up to the 
4th July. I washed the printed books ; some of them were so 
glued together by the slimy mud that the leaves could not be 
separated; most of these are now in Ld. B.'s custody. The 
letters, private papers, and Williams' journal, I left in charge of 
Hunt, as I saw there were many severe remarks on Ld. B." 2 

The note-book, now under examination, may be the one 
referred to by Captain Roberts as damaged. It has passed 
successively through the hands of Mary Shelley, Sir Percy Shelley, 
and Jane, Lady Shelley, to its present owner, Sir John C. E. 
Shelley. Photographs have been made of every page of the 
book, and from these pages I have endeavoured to give a faithful 
transcription. The difficulties of this task will be realised by 
an examination of the facsimiles. It is obviously a note-book 

1 The copyright of the contents of this book is reserved by Sir John 
C. E. Shelley. 
* Trelawny's Recollections. 


Shelley's MS. Note-Book 

in which Shelley used to jot down the rough ideas of his 
poems. I have attempted to arrange the pages in something 
approaching order. From the contents it would seem to have 
been used by Shelley during the year 1821. 

The passages and words within square brackets in the tran- 
scripts, show Shelley's cancellations. 


[This essay was to have consisted of three parts, the first 
of which only was written by Shelley early in the year 1821. 
It was designed as a reply to an article entitled " The Four 
Ages of Poetry," contributed by Thomas Love Peacock to 
the first number of Oilier 's Literary Miscellany. This periodical, 
for which A Defence of Poetry was intended as a contribution, 
was discontinued, and a manuscript of Shelley's article came 
into the hands of John Hunt, with a view to its insertion in 
The Liberal. Hunt went over the manuscript and deleted 
any references to Peacock's article, but before it could be 
printed The Liberal ceased publication at the fourth number. 
It was not until 1841 that Mrs. Shelley, having regained 
possession of the MS., printed the Defence, for the first time, 
in Shelley's Essays and Letters from Abroad. The passages 
deleted by Hunt were not restored by Mrs. Shelley, and they 
remained unprinted until M. A. H. Koszul re-edited the essay 
from two of Shelley's MSS. now in the Bodleian, for his little 
volume of Shelley's Prose in the Bodleian Library. One is 
a draft which shows, like the following pages of Adonais, 
the author's careful method of composition. The other is 
apparently the fair copy that was sent to Oilier on March 21, 
1821. The copy of the portion of the essay in Shelley's note- 
book occupies twenty-five pages, each page being distinguished 
in the present transcript by roman figures, I to XXIV, and a 
rider numbered XlA. The manuscript is beautifully and clearly 
written, and the pages which it occupies are fortunately 
among those that have escaped damage. One leaf, between 
pages XII and XIII, is missing, but the text, to preserve con- 
tinuity, has been supplied in italics. One of the notes deleted 
by Hunt occurs in the manuscript on pages XIX and XX, 
and many variations are noted in the footnotes.] 

Hence the fame of sculptors, painters, and musicians, 
although the intrinsic powers of the great masters of these 
arts may yield in no degree to that of those who have em- 


A Defence of Poetry 

ployed language as the hieroglyphic of their thoughts, has 
never equalled that of poets in the restricted sense of the 
term ; as two [I x ] performers of equal skill, will produce 
unequal effects from a guitar and a harp. The fame of legis- 
lators and founders of religions, so long as their institutions 
last, 2 alone seems to exceed that of poets 3 in the restricted 
sense ; but it can scarcely be a question, 4 whether, if we deduct 
the celebrity which their flattery of the gross opinions of the 
vulgar usually conciliates, together with that which belonged 
to them in their higher character of poets, any excess 5 will 

We have thus circumscribed the meaning of the 6 word 
Poetry within the limits of that art which is the most familiar 
and the most perfect expression of the faculty itself. It is 
necessary, however, to make the circle still narrower, and to 
determine the distinction between measured and unmeasured 
language ; for the popular division into prose and verse is 
inadmissible [II] in accurate philosophy. Sounds as well 
as thoughts have relation both 7 between each other and 
towards that which they represent, and a perception of the 
order of those relations has always been found connected with 
a perception of the order of the relations of 8 thoughts. Hence 
the language of poets has ever affected a certain uniform and 
harmonious recurrence of sound, without which it were not 
poetry, and which is scarcely less indispensable to the com- 
munication of its actions, 9 than the words themselves, without 
reference to that peculiar order. Hence the vanity of trans- 
lation ; 10 it were as wise to cast a violet into a crucible that 
you might discover the formal principle of its colour and 
odour, as seek to transfuse from one language into another 
the creations of a poet. The plant must spring again from 
[III] its seed, or it will bear no flower and this is the burthen 
of the curse of Babel. 

An observation of the regular mode of the recurrence of this ll 
harmony in the language of poetical minds, together with 
its relation to music, produced metre, or a certain system of 
traditional forms of harmony and language. Yet it is by 

1 The first page of the MS. begins here. 

2 remain has been deleted. 3 who inserted and deleted. 
4 that inserted and deleted. 5 would deleted. 

6 the meaning of the inserted. 7 among inserted and deleted. 

8 that deleted. 9 effects cancelled and actions inserted. 

10 Shelley wrote here and cancelled for it is not translation to create anew. 

11 this inserted. 


Shelley's MS. Note-Book 

no means essential that a poet should accommodate his language 
to this traditional form, so that the harmony, which is its 
spirit, be observed. The practice is indeed convenient and 
popular, and to be preferred, especially in such composition 
as includes much form and l action : but every great poet 
must inevitably innovate upon the example of his predecessors 
in the exact structure of his peculiar versification. The dis- 
tinction between poets and prose writers is a vulgar error. 
The distinction between [IV] philosophers and poets has been 
anticipated. Plato was essentially a poet the truth and 
splendour of his imagery, and the melody of his language, 2 is 
the most intense that it is possible to conceive 3 : he rejected 
the measure of the epic, dramatic, and lyrical forms, because 
he sought to kindle a harmony in thoughts divested of shape 
and action, and he forebore to invent any regular plan of 
rhythm which should 4 include, under determinate forms, the 
varied pauses of his style. Cicero sought to imitate the cadence 
of his periods, but with little success. Lord Bacon was 5 a 
poet.* His language has a sweet and majestic rhythm, 
which satisfies the sense, 6 no less than the almost superhuman 
wisdom of his philosophy satisfies the intellect ; it is a strain 
which 7 distends, and then bursts [V] the circumference of 
the hearer's 8 mind, and pours itself forth together with it 
into the universal element with which it has perpetual sym- 
pathy. All the * authors of revolutions in opinion are not 
only necessarily poets as they are inventors, nor even as their 
words unveil the 10 permanent analogy of things by images 
which participate in the life of truth ; but as their periods 
are harmonious and rhythmical, and contain in themselves 
the elements of verse ; being the echo of the eternal music. 
Nor are those supreme poets, who have employed traditional 
forms of rhythm on account of the form and action of their 
subjects, less capable of perceiving and teaching the truth 
of things, than those who have omitted that form. Shake- 
speare, Dante, and Milton (to confine ourselves to modern 
writers) are philo-[VI]-sophers of the very loftiest power. 

* See the Filum Labyrinth!, and the Essay on Death particularly 
[Shelley's note]. 

1 form and inserted. 2 is in MS. 

3 concieve in MS. The sentence runs on in the MS. 

4 should in MS. 

5 Shelley began to write essentially], but cancelled the word. 

6 and therefore cancelled. 7 fills and cancelled. 

8 hearer's in MS. * great inserted and cancelled. 

10 real cancelled and permanent inserted. 


\ t^ i ? 

\^ \' ^ 

k ; 



i .3*^ iUMiiJ; 

^1.^ v^^ 

^ ' .. 'V 



A Defence of Poetry 

A poem is the l image of life expressed in its eternal truth. 
There is this difference between a story and a poem, that a 
story is a catalogue of detached facts, which have no other 
connection than time, place, circumstance, cause and effect ; 
the other is the creation of actions according to the unchange- 
able forms of human nature, as existing in the mind of the 
Creator, which is itself the image of all other minds. The 
one is partial, and applies only to a definite 2 period of time, 
and a certain combination of events which can never again 
recur ; the other is universal, and contains within itself the 
germ of a relation to whatever 3 motives or actions 4 have 
.place in the possible varieties of human nature. Time, which 
destroys 5 the beauty and the use of the story [VII] of particular 
facts, stripped of the poetry which should invest them, augments 
that of poetry, and for ever develops new and wonderful 
applications of the eternal truth which it contains. Hence 
epitomes have been called the moths of just history ; they 
eat out the poetry of it. The 6 story of particular facts is as 
a mirror which obscures and distorts that which should be 
beautiful : Poetry is a mirror which makes beautiful that 
which is distorted. 

The parts of a composition may be poetical, without the 
composition as a whole being a poem. A single sentence 
may be considered as a whole, though it 7 be found in 8 a 
series of unassimilated portions ; a single word even may be 
a spark of inextinguishable thought. And thus all the great 
historians, Herodotus, Plutarch, Livy, were poets ; and 
although the plan of their works, 9 especially that [VIII] of 
Livy, restrained them from developing this faculty in its 
highest degree, they make 10 copious and ample amends for 
their subjection, by filling all the interstices of their subjects 
with living images. 

Having determined what is poetry, and who are poets, let 
us proceed to estimate its effects upon society. 

Poetry is ever accompanied with pleasure : all spirits on 
which it falls open themselves to receive the wisdom which 
is mingled with its delight. In the infancy of the world, 
neither poets themselves nor their auditors are fully aware 

1 very not in MS. a condition inserted and cancelled. 

3 thoughts inserted and cancelled. * which cancelled. 

5 the value cancelled The in MS. 

7 may not in MS. 8 the midst of not in MS. 

9 their works in MS. 10 make in MS. 


Shelley's MS. Note-Book 

of the excellency l of poetry : for it acts in a divine and un- 
apprehended manner, beyond and above consciousness ; and 
it is reserved for future generations to contemplate and 
measure the mighty cause and effect in all the strength and 
splendour of their union. Even in modern times, no living 
[IX] poet ever arrived at the fulness of his fame ; the jury 
which sits in judgment on 2 a poet, belonging as he does to all 
time, must be composed of his peers : 3 it must be impanneled 
by Time 4 from the selectest of the wise of many generations. 
A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to 
cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds ; his auditors are 
as men entranced by the melody of 5 an unseen musician, 
who feel that they are moved and softened, yet know not 
whence or why. The poems of Homer and his contemporaries 
were the delight of infant Greece ; they were the elements of 
that social system which 6 is the column upon which all suc- 
ceeding civilisation has reposed. Homer embodied the ideal 
perfection of his age in human character ; nor can we doubt 
that those [X] who read his verses were awakened to an 
ambition of becoming like to Achilles, Hector, and Ulysses : 
the truth and beauty of friendship, patriotism, and persevering 
devotion to an object, were unveiled to the depths in these 
immortal creations : the sentiments of the auditors must 
have been refined and enlarged by a sympathy with such great 
and lovely impersonations, 7 until from admiring they imitated, 
and from imitation they identified themselves with the objects 
of their admiration. Nor let it be objected, that these char- 
acters are remote from moral perfection, and that they can 
by no means be considered as edifying patterns for general 
imitation. Every epoch, under names more or less specious, 
has deified its peculiar 8 errors ; Revenge is the naked idol 
of the worship of a semi-barbarous age ; and Self-deceit is 
the veiled Image of unknown evil, [XI] before which 9 luxury 
and satiety lie prostrate. But a poet considers the vices of 
his contemporaries as the 10 temporary dress [in] u which his 
creations 12 must be arrayed, and which cover without con- 
cealing the eternal proportions of their beauty. An 13 epic or 

excellency in MS. 2 on in MS. 

and they inserted and cancelled. * out cancelled. 

an invisible cancelled. 

was one of the inserted and cancelled. 

A word inserted here and cancelled. 8 vices inserted and cancelled. 

the cancelled. 10 peculiar cancelled. 

1 in inserted and cancelled. 12 are to cancelled. 

1J poetical cancelled. 


A Defence of Poetry 

dramatic personage is understood to wear them around his 
soul, as he may the ancient armour or the modern uniform 
around his body ; whilst it is easy to conceive a dress more 
graceful than either. The beauty of the internal nature cannot 
be so far concealed by its accidental vesture, but that the 
spirit of its form shall communicate itself to the very disguise, 
and indicate the shape it hides from the manner in which it 
is worn. A majestic form and graceful motions will express 
themselves l through the most barbarous and tasteless costume. 
[XlA] Few poets of the highest class have chosen to 2 exhibit 
the beauty of their conceptions in its naked truth and splendour; 
and it is doubtful whether the alloy of costume, habit, etc., 
be not necessary to temper this planetary music for mortal 

The whole objection, however, 3 of the immorality of poetry 
rests upon a [XIIJ misconception of the manner in which 
poetry acts to produce the moral improvement of man. 
Ethical science arranges the elements which poetry has created, 
and propounds schemes and proposes examples of civil and 
domestic life : nor is it for want of admirable doctrines that 
men hate, and despise, and censure, and deceive, and subjugate 
one another. But poetry acts in another and diviner manner. 
It awakens and enlarges the mind itself by rendering it the 
receptacle of a thousand unapprehended combinations of 
thought. Poetry lifts the veil from the hidden beauty of the 
world, and makes familiar objects be as if they were not 
familiar ; it reproduces all that it represents, and the im- 
personations clothed in its Elysian light stand thenceforward 
in the minds of those who have once contemplated them, 4 
as memorials of that gentle and exalted content which extends 
itself over all thoughts and actions with which it coexists. The 
great secret of morals is love ; or a going out of our nature, and 
an identification of ourselves with the beautiful which exists in 
thought, action, or person, not our own. A man, to be greatly 
good, must imagine intensely and comprehensively ; he must 
put himself in the place of another and of many others ; the 
pains and pleasures of his species must become his own. The 
great instrument of moral good is the imagination ; and poetry 
administers to the effect by acting upon the cause. Poetry en- 
larges the circumference of the imagination by replenishing it 

1 upon cancelled. 2 paint cancelled. 

3 which inserted and cancelled. 

4 A page is missing from the MS. here ; the text, in italics, is supplied 
from Mrs. Shelley's version. 


Shelley's MS. Note-Book 

with thoughts of ever new delight, which have the power of attract- 
ing and assimilating to their own nature all other thoughts, and 
which form new intervals and interstices whose void for ever 
craves fresh food. [XIII] Poetry strengthens the faculty which 
is the organ of the moral nature of man, in the same manner 
as exercise strengthens a limb. A poet therefore would do 
ill to embody his own conceptions of x right and wrong, which 
are usually those of his place and time, in his poetical creations, 
which participate in neither. By this assumption of the 
inferior office of interpreting the effect, in which perhaps after 
all he might acquit himself but imperfectly, he would resign 
the 2 glory of 3 a participation in the cause. There was little 
danger that Homer, or any of the eternal Poets, should have 
so far misunderstood themselves as to have abdicated this 
throne of their widest dominion. Those in whom the poetical 
faculty, though great, is less intense, as Euripides, Lucan, 
Tasso, Spenser, have frequently affected a moral aim, and 
the effect of their [XIV] poetry is diminished but 4 in exact 
proportion to the degree in which they compel us to advert 
to this purpose. 

Homer and the cyclic 5 poets were followed at a certain 
interval by the dramatic and lyrical Poets of Athens, who 
nourished contemporaneously with all that is most perfect 
in the kindred expressions of the poetical faculty ; archi- 
tecture, painting, music, the dance, sculpture, philosophy, 
and we may add, the forms of civil life. For although the 
scheme of Athenian society was deformed by many imper- 
fections which the poetry existing in chivalry and Christianity 
have 6 erased from the habits and institutions of modern 
Europe ; yet never at any other period has so much energy, 
beauty, and virtue been developed ; never was blind strength 
and stubborn form so disciplined and rendered subject to the 
will of man, or that will [XV] less repugnant to the dictates 
of the beautiful and the true, as during the century which 
pieceded the death of Socrates. Of no other epoch in the 
history of our species have we records and fragments stamped 
so visibly with the image of the divinity in man. But it is 
Poetry alone, in form, in action, or in language, which has 
rendered this epoch memorable above all others, and the store- 
house of examples to everlasting time. For, written poetry 

1 moral deleted. 2 the in MS. 

3 of in MS. 4 but in MS. 

5 and religion deleted. 6 have in MS. 


A Defence of Poetry 

existed at that epoch simultaneously with the other arts, and 
it is an idle enquiry x to demand which gave and which re- 
ceived the light, which all as from a common focus, have 
scattered over the darkest periods of succeeding age. 2 We 
know no more of cause and effect than a constant conjunction 
of 3 events. Poetry is ever found to coexist with whatever 
other arts contribute to the happiness and perfection of man. 
I appeal to what has [XVI] already been established to dis- 
tinguish between the cause and the effect. 

It was at the period here adverted to, that the Drama had 
its birth ; and however a succeeding writer may have equalled 
or surpassed those few great specimens of the Athenian drama 
which have been preserved to us, it is indisputable that the 
art itself never was understood or practised according to the 
true philosophy of it, as at Athens. For the Athenians em- 
ployed language, action, music, painting, the dance, and 
religious institutions, to produce a common effect in the 
representation of the highest idealisms of passion and of 
power ; each division of 4 the art was made perfect in its 
kind by artists of the most consummate skill, and was disci- 
plined into a beautiful proportion and unity 5 one towards 
the other. [XVII] On the modern stage a few only of the 
elements capable of expressing the image of the poet's con- 
ception are employed at once. We have tragedy without 
music and dancing ; and music and dancing without the high 6 
impersonations of which they are the fit accompaniment, and 
both without religion and solemnity ; 7 religious institution 
has indeed been usually 8 banished from the stage. Our 
system of divesting the actor's face of a mask, on which the 
many expressions appropriated to 9 his dramatic character 
might 10 be moulded into one permanent and unchanging 
expression, is favourable only to a partial and inharmonious 
effect ; it is fit for nothing but a monologue, where all the 
attention may be directed to some great master of ideal mimicry. 
The modern practice of blending comedy with tragedy, though 
[XVIII] liable to great abuse in point of practise, 11 is un- 
doubtedly an extension of the Dramatic circle ; but the comedy 
should be as in King Lear, universal, ideal, and sublime. It is 

enquiry in MS. 2 age in MS. 

certain cancelled. * o/in MS. 

among each other inserted and cancelled. 8 high in MS. 
The sentence runs on in the MS. 

completely inserted and cancelled,, 9 the deleted. 

10 should is deleted. " practise in MS. 


Shelley's MS. Note-Book 

perhaps the intervention of this principle which determines 
the balance in favour of King Lear against the QEdipus Tyrannus 
or the Agamemnon, or, if you will, the trilogies with which 
they are connected ; unless the x intense power of the choral 
poetry, especially that of the latter, should be considered 
as restoring the equilibrium. King Lear, if it can sustain 
this comparison, may be judged to be the most perfect specimen 
of the dramatic art existing in the world ; in spite of the narrow 
conditions to which the poet was subjected by the ignorance 
of the philosophy of the drama 2 which has prevailed in modern 
Europe. Cal-[XIX]-deron, in his religious Autos, has 3 at- 
tempted to fulfil some of the high conditions of dramatic 
representation neglected by Shakespeare ; such as the estab- 
lishing a relation between the drama and religion, and the 
accommodating them to music and dancing ; but he omits 
the observation of conditions still more important, and more 
is lost than gained by the substitution of the rigidly defined 
and ever-repeated idealisms of a distorted superstition for 
the living impersonations of the truth of human passion. 

But we 4 digress. 5 The Author of the 4 Ages of Poetry has 
prudently omitted to dispute on the effect of the Drama upon 
life and manners. For, if I know the Knight by the device 
of his shield, I have only to inscribe Philoctetes or Agamemnon 
or Othello upon mine to put to flight the giant sophisms [XX] 
which have enchanted them, as the mirror of intolerable light 
though on the arm of one of the weakest of the Paladins could 
blind and scatter whole armies of necromancers and pagans. 
The 6 connection of scenic exhibitions 7 with the improvement 
or corruption of the manners of men, has been universally 
recognised ; in other words, 8 the presence or absence of poetry 
in its most perfect and universal form has been found to be 
connected with good and evil in conduct or habit. The 
corruption which has been imputed to the drama as an effect, 
begins, when the poetry employed in its constitution, ends : 
I appeal to the history of manners whether the gradations 
of the growth of the one and the decline of the other have not 
corresponded with an exactness equal to any other 10 [XXI] 
example of moral cause and effect. 

1 superior cancelled. 2 art cancelled. 

8 fulfilled in cancelled. * we in MS. 

6 This paragraph, down to the word pagans, which had special reference 
to Peacock's essay on the " Four Ages of Poetry," was omitted by 
Mrs. Shelley when she first printed Shelley's Defence. 

6 the effect of the inserted and cancelled. * in deleted. 

8 that deleted. gradations in MS. w other in MS. 


A Defence of Poetry 

The drama at Athens, or wheresoever else it may have 
approached to its perfection, ever coexisted with the moral 
and intellectual greatness of the age. The tragedies of the 
Athenian poets are as mirrors in which the spectator beholds 
himself, under a thin disguise of circumstance, stript of all 
but that ideal perfection and energy which every one feels 
to be the internal type of all that he Loves, admires, and 
would become. The imagination is enlarged by a sympathy 
with pains and passions so mighty, that they distend in their 
conception the capacity of that by which they are conceived ; 
the good affections are strengthened by pity, indignation, 
terror and sorrow ; and an exalted calm is prolonged from 
the satiety of this high exercise of them into [XXII] the tumult 
of familiar life : even crime is x disarmed of half its honor 
and all its contagion by being represented as the fatal conse- 
quence of the unfathomable agencies of nature ; error is thus 
divested of its wilfulness ; 2 men can no longer cherish it as 
the creation of their choice : in a drama of the highest order 
there is little food for censure or hatred ; it teaches rather 
self-knowledge and self-respect. Neither the eye nor the 
mind can see itself, unless reflected upon that which it resembles. 
The drama, so long as it continues to express poetry, is as a 
prismatic and many-sided mirror, which collects the brightest 
rays of human nature and 3 divides and reproduces them 
from the simplicity of these elementary forms, and touches 
them with majesty and beauty, and multiplies all that it 
reflects, and endows it with the power of [XXIII] propagating 
its like wherever it may fall. 

But in periods of the decay of the 4 social life, the drama 
sympathises with that decay. Tragedy becomes a cold 
imitation of the form of the great masterpieces of antiquity, 
divested of all harmonious accompaniment of the kindred 
arts ; and often the very form misunderstood, or a weak 
attempt to teach certain doctrines, which the writer considers 
as moral truths ; and which are usually no more than specious 
flatteries of some gross vice or weakness, with which the 
author, in common with his auditors, are infected. Hence 
what has been called the classical and domestic drama. 
Addison's Cato is a specimen of the one ; and would it were 
not superfluous to cite examples of the other ! To such 
purposes poetry cannot be made subservient. Poetry [XXIV] 

1 divested deleted. 2 The sentence runs on. 

s and divides them deleted ; and divides written again. * the in MS. 


Shelley's MS. Note-Book 

is a sword of lightning, ever unsheathed, which consumes 
the scabbard that would contain it. And thus we observe 
that all dramatic writings of this nature are unimaginative 
in a singular degree ; they affect sentiment and passion, 
which, divested of imagination, are other names for caprice 
and appetite. The period * in our own history of the grossest 
degradation of the drama is the reign of Charles II., when all 
forms in which poetry had been accustomed to be expressed 
became hymns to the triumph of kingly power over liberty 
and virtue. Milton stood alone illuminating an age unworthy 
of him. 


[Shelley employed himself, at Pisa, during the months of 
May and June 1821, in writing Adonais. In a letter to 
his friends the Gisbornes, written early in June, he says : " I 
have been engaged these last days in composing a poem on 
the death of Keats, which will shortly be finished ; and I 
anticipate the pleasure of reading it to you, as some of the 
very few persons who will be interested in it and understand it. 
It is a highly-wrought piece of art, and perhaps better in 
point of composition, than anything I have written." That 
he ranked the poem highly we may gather, as he also told 
Miss Clairmont, in a letter of June 8, that it was better than 
anything that he had written, and " worthy both of him 
[Keats] and of me." On the same date he informed Oilier, 
his publisher, that he had finished the poem, and that it 
consisted of about forty Spenser stanzas, which were to 
be preceded by a criticism on Hyperion. Shelley did not 
fulfil his intention of writing this criticism or of publishing 
the poem in London, but sent the MS. on June 16 to press 
at Pisa, where it was printed handsomely " with the types 
of Didot." On July 13 he presented a copy, the only one 
that had been delivered, to John and Maria Gisborne. 

The notes for the preface that follow occupy fourteen pages 
of the note-book, and in the transcript I have numbered them 
with Roman figures. A few passages were printed in The 
Relics of Shelley, 1862, by Dr. Richard Garnett, who adopted 
his own arrangement. None of the cancelled fragments of 

1 of cancelled. 

Preface to " Adonais v 

Adonais printed in the same volume by Dr. Garnett were 
derived from the present manuscript. The following early 
draft of the poem, which is now printed for the first time, is not 
only interesting as showing the steps by which Shelley built 
up his elegy, but as revealing here and there passages worthy 
of preservation. One page, marked XVII in the fascimile, 
and a few lines on other pages of the MS. I have failed to 
decipher. Most of the pages bearing these notes for the poem 
are in a very imperfect and damaged condition. The text 
of each stanza as printed by Shelley is given in italics.] 


[I] No personal offence should have drawn from me this 
public comment upon such stuff as ... 

Keats came to Italy ... I knew personally but little of 
Keats having met him two or three [? times] at my friend 
Hunt's, but on the news of his situation I wrote to him sug- 
gesting the propriety of trying the Italian climate and inviting 
him to join me. His answer to my letter was . . . Unfortu- 
nately he did not allow me . . . 

Since however this notice has been [II] wrested from me 
[? by] indignation and [sympathy] my pity I will allow myself a 
first and last word on the subject of calumny as it relates to 
me [and now all further public discussions must be closed] . As 
an author I have dared and invited censure ; [my opinions] if I 
understand myself I have written neither for profit nor fame. 
I have [sought to erect a sympathy between my species and 
myself] employed my poetical compositions and publications 
simply as the instruments of that sympathy between myself 
and others which the ardent and unbounded love I [felt] 
cherished for my kind incited me to acquire. I expected all 
sorts of stupidity and insolent contempt from these . . . 

[III] These compositions (excepting the tragedy of the 
Cenci which was written in a hurry rather to try my powers 
than to unburden my full heart) are [wretchedly inadequate] 
insufficiently . . . 

[IV] . . . commendation than perhaps they deserve ; even 
from their bitterest enemies ; but they have not attained any 
corresponding popularity. As a man, I shrink from notice 
and regard ; the cea[seless] ebb and flow of the world vexes 
me ; My habits are simple I know. I desire to be left in 
peace. I have been the victim of a monstrous and unheard 

Shelley's MS. Note-Book 

of tyranny. I am the victim of a despotic power which 
has violated in my home the rights of nature and has [V] 
stooped into the region where such as hell-[ . . . ] [animal] 
a slave can breathe. I think it necessary to hang out a 
bloody flag where the tyger [. . .] has made his meal of Liberty. 

Reviewers, with some rare exceptions are in general a most 
stupid and malignant race ; as a bankrupt thief turns thief- 
taker in despair ; so an unsuccessful Author turns Critic 
and punishes others of that . . . 

There are honest and honorable men among Reviewers 
no doubt, but these will be foremost . . . 

[VI] The shaft which this Parthian shot, fell on a heart 
[cased in] made callous by many blows, but poor Keats's 
was composed of more penetrable stuff. The Endymion was 
a poem in which a critic will find indeed much to condemn, 
but was there nothing to applaud ? Were there no traces 
of a sublime genius mingled with errors of taste and obscurity 
of purpose ? Could the critics who found the Revd. Mr. 
Somebody's Paris sublime because it flattered their masters, 
and who wrote with complacence of Mr. Gatty [VII] Knight's 
Syrian Tale because it was published at Murray's who printed 
Mr. Milman's drama of Jerusalem a mere well-written imitation 
of [Kehama] Southey, and the everlasting poetry of Lord Byron 
that they who talk with patience of such drivelling as Brutus 
and Evadne could they find nothing to commend in the 
Endymion ? At what gnat did they strain here, after having 
swallowed all those camels ? Mr. Southey and Mr. Gifford 
well know what true poetry is ; Mr. Southey, especially, who 
has edited the remains of Kirke White, knows ; they could 
not have been mistaken with respect to the indications afforded 
by portions of this poem of such astonishing descriptive power 
which they will have observed in the Hyperion. Surely such 
[VIII] men as these hold their repute cheap in permitting to 
their subordinate associates so great a licence, not of praise 
which can do little mischief, but of censure which may destroy 
and has destroyed one of the noblest specimens of the work- 
manship of God. It shall be no excuse to the murderer that 
he has spoken daggers but used none. 

The offence of this poor victim seems to have consisted 
solely in his intimacy with Leigh Hunt, Mr. Hazlitt and some 
others of the enemies of despotism and superstition. My 
friend Hunt has a very hard skull to crack, and would take 
a deal of killing. I do not know much of Mr. Hazlitt, but . . . 

[IX] [Mr.] Keats was the chosen intimate of [Hunt] Leigh 


i# : (iiS 

vs i ' ' 1* v\ j ^ -s 



Preface to " Adonais ' : 

Hunt and Mr. Hazlitt and other enemies of despotism and 
superstition. The Quarterly Review has . . . 

Mr. Gifford I believe . . . learned . . . 

The Editor of this Quarterly Review in particular amongst 
[many persons] of the most splendid accomplishments and the 
most honourable minds certainly has in his employment the 
most malignant and accomplished slanderers. But I should 
have hated him had he ventured on any . . . insinua- 
tion that ever prostituted his soul for twenty pounds per 

[X] The bigot will say it was the recompense of my errors, 
the man of the world will call it the result of my imprud- 
ence [but never was calumny heaped in so profuse a measure 
upon any head as upon mine]. Persecution, contumely and 
calumny have been heaped upon me in profuse measure. I have 
[been made the victim of a tyranny . . .] domestic conspiracy 
and legal oppression combined have violated in my person 
the most sacred rights of nature and humanity, . . . [my 
health . . .] and the chastening of my spirit. 

[XI] The scheme of such writers is to extinguish . . . 

But in the present instance the merits and the demerits, 
the truth and falsehood of the case were [so carefully en- 
tangled . . .] But a young mind panting after fame is the most 
vulnerable prey : he is armed neither with philosophy . . . 

[But let it be considered that an animat[ed ?] But a young 
spirit panting for fame, doubtful of its own powers and certain 
only of its aspirations, is but ill [qualified] fitted to assign 
its true value to the sneers of this world. 

[XII] [The Endymion merited . . .] 
[His happiness is in the present.] 

He knows not that such stuff as this is of the abortive and 
monstrous Births which Time consumes as fast as it produces. 
He sees the truth and falsehood, the merits and demerits of 
his case inextricably entangled. 

[XIII] It may well be said that these wretched men know 
not what they do. These midwives of the dross and abortions 
which time consumes as fast as it produces : scatter their 
insults and their slanders without heed as to whether they 
light on a heart made callous by many blows or on one like 
Keats's composed of more penetrable stuff. One of them 
to my knowledge is ... 

Was Endymion a poem whatever might be its defects to be 
spoken of contemptuously by those who had celebrated with 
various degrees of complacency and panegyric Paris and 

673 2 U 

Shelley's MS. Note-Book 

Woman and a Syrian Tale, and Mrs. Lefanu and Mr. Barrett 
and Mr. Milman ? 

[XIV] What gnat did they strain at here after having 
swallowed all these camels ? What is the woman taken in 
adultery against whom the foremost of these literary prostitutes 
has cast his venal stone ? Miserable man, [thou] you who art 
one of the meanest have destroyed one of the noblest speci- 
mens of the workmanship of God. Nor shall it be your excuse 
that [you have] murderer as you are, you have spoken daggers 
but used none. 




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[I am indebted to Mr. R. A. Streatfeild for the transcripts 
and translations of these verses, which do not appear to have 
been published. Trelawny assured Mr. W. M. Rossetti very 
positively that Shelley originally wrote the Epipsychidion in 
Italian. Is it possible that these lines form a portion of such 
a design which he may, or may not, have completed ?] 

Dal spiro della tua 
La chiara fronte, le labbra amorose 
La guancia dal cadente sole tinta 
Gli occhi, ove spento tempo posa 
Sono imagini dei tuoi in tutta vita 
Quella T odor tu la stessa rosa 
Questo la ombra al sostegno 
La tua venuta aspettando 

la vita va mancando. 

From the breath of thy 
The clear brow, the amorous lips, 
The cheek tinted by the setting sun, 
The eyes, where past time reposes, 
Are images of thine in full life 
This is the fragrance, thou the rose herself 
This shadow in support 
Thy coming expecting 

life fades away. 

Ah non pianger, no quaggiu non posso 
Ah, weep not, here below I cannot 

Dal dura prigione della passata 

Dal vano pentimento e vana passione 

Dal alta speme mai non compita 

Dalle fantasmi che dal memoria vengon 

Inspirando sogni del presente ora 

O dalle ombre che il futuro anno 

Getta davanti . . . 

Dalla morte moriendo. 




O X 

Shelley's MS. Note-Book 

From the cruel prison of the past, 
From vain repentance and vain passion, 
From the lofty hope that never was fulfilled, 
From the phantasms that come from memory, 
Inspiring dreams of the present hour : 
O from the shades that the coming year 
Throws in advance . . . 
From death dying 

Cosl vestiva in barbari accent! 
II vero affetto . . . un' armonia. 

So have I clad in barbarous accents 
The true affection ... a harmony. 

Oh non piango, s' io pianger devo 

II riflusso della sua onda in un 

Dove si preparebbe fabricarci 

Un queto asilo, lontan di ogni pena 

Scioglerq un . . . sul purpureo Oceano cielo 

Un queto asilo, che . . . quando 

I weep not, if I should weep 
The refluence of her wave in a 
Where might be prepared for us 
A quiet refuge far from all pain 

1 will loose a ... on the purple 
A quiet refuge, where . . . when 

La tua venuta nelle isole eterne 
Non pianger no ... 

la refluente stretta 

Mi porto a quel porto dove si aspettamo 
In questo asilo . . . 

Thy coming into the eternal isles 
Weep not, no ... 

the refluence quick 

I take myself to that port where we await each other 
In this refuge . . . 

689 2 X 

Shelley's MS. Note-Book 

Non mi fu conceduto qui 

La rapida Peara 

-vj . , /conceduto 

1 \ dato d* aggiungere il voto 
Non cercherei 
II cielo 

Non mai avremo al di 13, di morte 
Cosi arcato al di la di morte 
Un Paradiso, dove tu non stai 

It was not granted me here 
The rapid Peara (?) 

I given us to win our prayer 
I would not seek 
We shall never possess on the far side of death 

Thus -f 

A Paradise, where thou standest not 


Send the stars bright, 

Send not love to me 

Where it has blighted a bosom white 

Send the stars bright, but send not love to me 
In whom love ever made 

Health [as a heap of] embers soon to fade. 

[In a heart is vowed] 
That heart [was] e'er vowed to tears 

When love was long delay 
As by a of living fire 

[For] Then more than this wealth 

To crown with love and health. 


* 3- 

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< d 






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z z 

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^ DC 

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Shelley's MS. Note-Book 

Madonna wherefore hast thou sent to me 

Sweet basil and mignonette 
[Alas and with] 

[Embleming health which never yet] 
Embleming love and health which never yet 

In the same wreath might be 
Alas, and they are wet 
And is it with thy kisses or thy tears ? 
For [it is not with dew] 
never rain or dew 

Such fragrance drew 

From leaf or flower, the very doubt endears 
[ sighs] 

My sadness ever new 
The sighs I breathe the tears I shed for thee. 

[On another sheet Shelley has written some phrases which 
appear in his lines to Emelia Viviani, and he scribbled, in a 
feigned hand, the name of Shakespeare three times, and that 
of Milton twice. 

The piece of manuscript on the smaller sheet, which has been 
reproduced on this plate, does not belong to the MS. note-book. 
It is the portion of Shelley's draft of " A Satire on Satire" : 
this and another leaf are in the collection of Sir John ' C. E. 
Shelley. The fragment was first printed by the late Professor 
Dowden in the Correspondence of Robert Southey and Caroline 
Bowles, 1880, and subsequently by other editors.] 



ABERNETHY, Dr. John, 212, 

523 n. 

Abingdon (Oxford), 147 
Address to the Irish People, An, 

Shelley's, 377~9, 3 8 3 
Adonais, Shelley's, 670-87 
Aickin, Mrs., nee Shelley, 451 
Alastor, Shelley's, 463 
Alder, William, 477, 479 
Allegra (daughter of Lord Byron 

and Miss Clairmont), 521-2, 

528-9, 531 

Amory, Mr., 412, 449, 592-7 
Amos, Andrew, 57 
Angeli, Mrs., 541 
Ariel, the, 542, 659 
Arun Cottage, 17 
Arundel Castle (Sussex), 12, 16 
Atlantic Monthly, 480 n. 
Austen, Jane, 73-4 
Avington Park (Hants), 13, 26 

BALDWIN & Co., 463 
Ballantyne & Co., 75-6 
Barruel, Abbe, 185 
Bath, Shelley at, 469-74 
Battle Abbey (Sussex), i 
Beauchamp, Eliza. See West- 
Beauchamp, Farthing, 512, 575, 


Beauclerc, Lady Diana, 89 
Beddoes, Thomas Lovell, 576 
Bedford, Rev. W. K. R., 192 
Bell, Mr., 500 
Benbow, W., 617 
Bethell, Rev. George, 53-4, 66-7, 

7 1 

Bird, Mr., 147, 631, 632 
Bishopsgate (Windsor), Shelley 

at, 455 

Blackburn, Mr., 461 
Blackwood's Magazine, 578 
Bodleian Library (Oxford), 85 
Boinville, M. de, 408 
Boinville, Mrs., 407-8,411,418-9, 

422, 428-30, 441 
Bowen, Charles, 589 
Bowen, Elizabeth. See Shelley 
Bowles, W. L., 94 
Bowley, Mrs., 342 
Bracknell (Bucks), Shelley at, 

407-8, 419-21, 428 
Brentford (Middlesex), 34, 46, 


Brighton (Sussex), 189, 524 
British Critic, 84, 99, 125 
British Review, 84 
Broadbridge Heath, 22 
" Brooke, Arthur." See Claris, 

J. C. 
Brougham and Vaux, Henry 

Brougham, ist Lord, 183 
Browne, Felicia Dorothea. See 

Hemans, Mrs. 
Browning, Robert, 617-8 
Buffon, George Comte de, 315 
Burdett, Sir Francis, 77 
Burdon, Richard, 172 
Burney, Fanny. See D'Arblay 
Bury, Lady Charlotte, 121, 126, 

192-3, 196 

Byron, Lord, 80, 140 n., 558 
his English Bards and Scotch 

Reviewers, 212-3 
an admirer of Shelley's poetry, 




Byron, Lord, first meeting with ' Clairmont, Clara Mary Jane, ac 

Shelley at Geneva, 467, 623 
Shelley's bequest to, 470-3, 

his liaison with Miss Clairmont, 

521-2, 529 
and the guardianship of his 

child Allegra, 531-2 
at Ravenna, 539 
joins Trelawny at Pisa, 541 
executor of Shelley's will, 550 
his kindness to Mary Shelley 

after the poet's death, 561 
appeals to Sir Timothy on 

behalf of Mary Shelley, 

his letter to Sir Timothy 

Shelley, 563 

his letter to Leigh Hunt, 569 
Byron, Mrs. (Charlotte Dacre or 

" Rosa Matilda "), 47, 85 


Calvert, William, 361-2, 377, 

Calvert, Mrs., 377, 409 

Cambridge, Sidney Sussex Col- 
lege, 19 ; Trinity College, 

Campbell, Thomas, 75, 80, 288 

Cappuccini, I', Shelley at, 533 

Carpenter & Son, 463 

Carter, William, 517 

Castle Goring (Sussex), 15-7 

Castlereagh, Lord, 149 

Cavendish, Lord George, 414 

Cenci, The, Shelley's, 535 

Century Magazine, 399 

Chapel Street (Grosvenor Square), 

companies Shelley and Mary 
on their flight to the Con- 
tinent, 438-40, 444, 641-2 
remains with the Shelleys in 

London, 445-6 

again visits the Continent 
with Shelley and Mary 

Shelley's bequest to, 471 
and Shelley's marriage to 

Mary, 488-90 

goes to Marlow with the Shel- 
leys, 518, 527 

her liaison with Byron, 5212 
and the guardianship of Alle- 
gra, 531-2 
at Florence with the Shelleys 

present at Sir Percy Shelley's 

baptism, 540 
and Shelley's death, 547 
joins her brother Charles at 

Vienna, 560 
Mary Shelley's kindness to, 


Clapham (Surrey), Miss Fen- 
ning's school at, 90-2, 95, 
265, 269, 271-2, 277 
Claris, J. C., "Arthur Brooke" 


Clark, Mrs. Brodie, 35 
Clarke, R., 220-1, 233-6, 238- 

41, 621 
Clewer, 58 

Coleridge, Edward, 66 n. 
Coleridge, Sir John Taylor, 60-2 

66 n. 

Coleridge, Samuel Taylor, 288, 
359, 464, 617 

265, 267-9, 273, 301, 304, I Coleridge, Mrs. S. T., 359 

307, 401-2, 478, 516 
Chapuis, Maison, 623 
Cheale, Mary. See Michell 
Cheeseborough, Rev. Jacob, 506 
Chesterfield, Philip Stanhope, 

Earl of, 20 

Clairmont, Charles, 376, 547 
Clairmont, Clara Mary Jane, 376, 

449, 562, 623, 

Coleridge, Hon. Stephen, 61-2 
Collingwood & Co., 282 
Copleston, Rev. Edward, 196, 


Cornwall, Barry. See Procter 
Cory, William, 53-4, 60, 66 
Covent Garden Theatre, 31 n. 
Critical Review, 85 

Crofts, Miss Margaret L., 399 

Shelley in England 

Cuckfield (Sussex), 276, 280, 

284, 328, 332, 390 
Gumming, William, 308, 310 
Cunningham, Peter, 516 n. 
Curran, Amelia, 586, 617 
Curran, John Philpot, 385 
Curteis, T. J. Horsley, 46 
Cwm Elan (Radnorshire), 94, 

286, 292-8, 392-3 


Dacre, Charlotte. See Byron, 


Dallaway, Rev. Edward, 172 
D'Arblay, Madame, 67-8 
Dare, Mr., 360 

Dayrell, Rev. John, 124 n., 161 
Defence of Poetry, Shelley's, 660- 


De Quincey, Thomas, 359 
Desse, Mr., 307, 457, 459-61 
Dobell, Bertram, 75, 78, 557 
Dodson, Christopher, 241 
Dowden, Professor, 20, 35, 50 n., 
54, 56, 60, 134, 143 n., 151, 
185, 202, 208, 257, 297, 
301 n., 305, 475, 500, 515, 

523> 535. 616 

Dublin, Shelley in, 377-87, 400-1 
Dublin Press, 149 
Dublin Weekly Messenger, 150, 

379. 383, 385 
Du Cane, Peter, 451, 460 
Duke, Sir James, 22 
Dunn, Mr., 307 

Edgecumbe, Richard, 80 
Edge worth, Maria, 73 
Edinburgh Literary Journal, The, 

Edinburgh, Shelley at, 305-6, 

308-25, 361, 409 
Edwards, Rev. Evan, 32, 134, 


Effingham Place (Sussex), 21 
Eldon, John Scott, ist Earl of 

(Lord Chancellor), 205, 462, 

492, 502-6 

Ellenborough, Edward Law, Earl 

of, 491 

Ellesmere (Shropshire), 260 
Epipsychidion, Shelley's, 688 
Esdaile, Charles, 291, 384, 515 
Esdaile, E. J., 515, 655-6 
Esdaile, (Mrs) lanthe Elizabeth 

(daughter of Shelley and 

Harriet), 402, 409, 420, 

442, 471-2, 475, 484, 486-7, 

490-516, 655-6 
Etheridge, Allen, 368-71 
Eton College, 44, 48, 51-71, 79, 

82-4, 153, 189, 204 
Examiner, The, 183-4, 4 6 4. 5 1 ?. 

545. 547. 549 

159, 232-4, 236, 238 

Penning, Miss, 90, 265, 269 

Fen Place (Sussex), 2 

Ferguson, James C., 308 n. 

Fettes, J., 310 

Field Place, 4, 7, 21-23, 68, 72, 
84, 93, 125, 135, 140, 143, 
154, 165, 167, 188, 204, 213, 
229-33, 245, 261, 264, 276, 
278, 281, 283-8, 329, 337 

Finnerty, Peter, 121-2, 149-51, 
164, 183, 254, 382 

Florence, Shelley at, 536-9 

Forman, Mr. H. Buxton, C.B., 

208, 500 n., 541, 570 
his The Shelley Library, 291 

Franklin, Benjamin, 66 n., 170 

Eraser's Magazine, 17, 77, 86, 

Garnett, Dr. Richard, 99, 100, 

135 n., 627 

Cell, John Henry, 476 
Genoa, 54 

Gentleman's Magazine, 557-8 
George III, 9, 119 
George IV, 288-91 
Gessner, Solomon, 82, 89 
Gibbon, Edward, 131 
Gibson, Jane. See Jane, Lady 




Gibson, Thomas, 624 
Gisborne, Mrs., 547, 560, 617 
Globe, The, 191 
Godwin, Fanny (Imlay), 376, 

Godwin, Mary Jane, formerly 

Mrs. Clairmont, 375, 386, 

46, 439, 44, 446, 473, 

487-90, 611 
Godwin, Mary Wollstonecraft, 

375-6, 432-3, 558, 608 
Godwin, Mary W. See Shelley 
Godwin, William, 191, 349, 406, 

460, 530, 553, 558, 615 
Shelley's second letter to God- 
win, quoted, 64, 74, 80 
his novel, St. Leon, 85, 124 
his Political Justice, 132, 180-2, 

375, 386, 493 
his ingratitude to Shelley, 

140 n. 
his novel, Caleb Williams, 


his dislike of entails, 246 
his opinions on marriage, 275, 


Shelley begins a correspond- 
ence with, 372 
his interest in Shelley, 374, 

his work and pursuits and 

publications, 375 et seq. 
Shelley's pecuniary assistance 

to, 413, 431, 446-9, 521-2 
and Shelley's elopement with 

Mary, 445, 466, 486, 641-2 
his gratification at his daughter 

Mary's marriage to Shelley, 

488-9, 653-4 
visits the Shelleys at Marlow, 

518, 526 
and the death of Shelley, 


and Frankenstein, 572 

his last days, 607-8 

his will, 611-2 
Goodall, Dr., 51-2 
Gordon, Mr., 524 
Graham, Mr., 223, 340 
Graham, Dr., 13 

Graham, Edward Fergus, 31 n., 
84, 90-2, 97, 120, 191-2, 
214-6, 282, 290, 299, 340-3, 

Graham, Sir James, 219 
Graham, William, 632 
Gray, Thomas, 32, 54, 58 
Great Russell Street, Shelley at, 


Grece, Dr. Clair J., 188 
Greenlaw, Dr., 36-8, 49, 512-3 
Greenlaw, Mrs., 36 
Greenlaw, Miss, 36 
Gregson, Mr., 482, 614, 616, 618, 

Grenville, William Wyndham, 

Lord, 204-5 
Grey, Earl, 608 
Greystoke (Cumberland), 12 
Griffith, Dr., 197-203 
Gronow, Captain, his Recollec- 
tions, 52, 54-5, 57~ 8 > 63 
Grove, Rev. C. H., 257-8 

his early recollections of Shel- 
ley, 49-50, 107 
and Shelley's attachment to 

his sister Harriet, 93-4 
Shelley attends lectures with, 


goes to the Forum Club with 

Shelley, 259 
visits the Westbrooks, 265, 


and the Prince Regent's fate, 291 
and Shelley's elopement with 

Harriet, 304-5 

Grove, Mrs. Charlotte, 93, 95, 282 
Grove, Charlotte, 93, 98 
Grove, George, 49 
Grove, Harriet (Mrs. Heyler), 

266, 292 

Shelley's attachment for, 93-5 
Shelley presents a copy of 

Victor and Cazire to, 98 
and Shelley's religious opinions, 


ends her engagement to Shel- 
ley, 139-43, 155, 157, 159, 

Shelley's lines to, 520 


Shelley in England 

Grove, John, 28, 94, 211-2, 229, 
259-62, 287, 301-2 n., 307, 

his letter to Sir Timothy 

Shelley, 230-1 

Grove, Thomas, 50 n., 84, 93-4, 

collections of Shelley, 58, 

Hamilton, Lady, 13 
Hamilton, Rachel, 517 
Hanson, John, 562-6 
Harding, Rev. John, 540 
Hargrove, Rev. Charles, 557 n. 
Harrow, 49 
Hawkes, Miss, 269 
Hazlitt, William, 106, 376, 518 
Helme, W., 46 
Hemans, Mrs., 79, 80, 286 
Hexter, Mr., 53, 57, 71 
Heyler, Mr., 142-3 n. 
Heyler, Mrs. See Harriet Grove 
Higham, John, 490, 496, 499 
Hill, Rowland, 159, 260 
Kitchener, Elizabeth, 273 n. 
extracts from Shelley's letters 
to, 15, 212, 258, 288-9, 
299, 301 n., 324, 327-8; 
333, 339 n., 343, 366, 390-1, 
makes Shelley's acquaintance, 


Shelley's first letter to, 293 n. 

informed by Shelley of his 

marriage to Harriet, 327, 

invited to visit the Shelleys, 

328, 356, 372, 390 
told by Shelley of Hogg's 

perfidy, 354-6 
extract from Harriet's letter 

to, 378 
fined on receiving Shelley's 

pamphlet, 379, 383 
visits the Shelleys at Lyn- 

mouth, 394, 554 
leaves the Shelleys, 396-7, 


Kitchener, Elizabeth, her repre 
sentatives' claim on Sir 
Timothy, 550-4 
her career after leaving the 
Shelleys, 555-7 

Kitchener, Thomas, 556 

Hobbs, Mr., 150, 186-7 

Hodgkins, Miss, 36 

Hogg, John, 165, 316, 326, 333-6, 

his letter to Sir Timothy 

Shelley, 334 
Hogg, Thomas Jefferson, 50 n., 

69, 7, 79, 93 n., 257-8, 

and Shelley's remarks on Sir 

Bysshe, 13-4, 17 
his comments on Shelley's 

sisters, 25-6 

and Shelley's microscope, 48 
on Shelley's "popularity" at 

Oxford, 55 

on the term Atheist, 59, 60 
on Shelley's love of chemistry, 

64-5, 108-13, I 5 2 , *89 
discusses German and Italian 

literature with Shelley, 87-8, 


goes to Oxford, 102 
his description of Shelley, 

life with Shelley at Oxford, 

113-7, 174-7 
and the poems of Victor and 

Cazire, 118-21 
on Shelley's hatred of cruelty, 


on Shelley's frugal habits, 129 
on Shelley's love of study, 

130-2, 187-8 
shares Shelley's scepticism, 

132-8, 152, 157-9 
Shelley's letters concerning 

Harriet Grove to, 138, 141, 

155, 157 
and Shelley's sister Elizabeth, 

143-4, 284-7 

his literary attempts, 145-8 
Stockdale's bad impression of, 




Hogg, Thomas Jefferson, and Sir 
Timothy, 165 

expelled with Shelley from 
Oxford, 199-205, 215 

shares lodgings with Shelley 
in Poland Street, 206-13 

Sir Timothy attempts to sepa- 
rate Shelley from, 217-20, 

meets Sir Timothy, 222-4, 34 

peace proposals by Shelley 
and, 231-40 

leaves Shelley, 240, 245, 260 

and Shelley's friendship with 
Harriet Westbrook, 270-3, 
277-8, 296, 299 

his opinion on marriage, 274-5, 

Shelley interests his mother 
in, 293 

and Shelley's suggested meet- 
ing at York, 297 

gives pecuniary help to Shel- 
ley, 299, 305 

joins the Shelleys at Edin- 
burgh, 312-6 

returns to York in company j 
with the Shelleys, 323-7 

his treachery in Shelley's ab- i 
sence, 353-6 

his dislike of Eliza Westbrook, ! 

extract of letter from Shelley ; 
concerning Miss Kitchener, ; 

extract of letter from Mrs. \ 

Boinville to, 418, 430 
letter to Stockdale, 163 
Shelley's bequest to, 471 
told of Shelley's death, 546 
visits Mary Shelley, 607 

Holbach, Baron d', 132 

Holbeach, 56 

Holcroft, Thomas, 225, 612 

Holste, Mr., 550, 552, 554 


Hookham, Thomas, 394, 400-1 
406, 430, 436, 445-7. 474~ 8 
486, 627 
letter to Shelley, 474 

Horsham (Sussex), 7, 14, 93, 
173, 285, 293, 301, 361, 452 
Houghton-le-Spring (Durham) , 


Howell, Mr., 554 
Hughes, Mr., 45-6 n. 
Hume, Dr., 491 n., 506-11 
Hume, Mrs., 508-11 
Hume, David, 132, 170, 187 
Hunt, John, 183, 545, 561, 576, 

584 n. 
Hunt, Leigh, 256, 495, 529-30, 

558, 586 
on Shelley's fits of temper, 


his descriptions of Shelley, 127 
on Shelley's letter to Lord 

Castlereagh, 149-50 
and The Examiner, 183-5, 464 
his sympathy for Shelley on 

Harriet's death, 484-5 
his circle of friends, 517-8 
visits Shelley at Leghorn, ac- 
companied by his family, 
receives Shelley's heart from 

the burning embers, 543 
on Shelley's death, 545-8 
his guests at Pisa, 560 
and Shelley's Posthumous 

Poems, 584 

visits Mary Shelley, 607 
and Mary Shelley's edition of 

Queen Mab, 621 
Shelley's bequest to, 624 
his letter to Elizabeth Kent, 

| . 545 

Lord Byron's letter to, 569 

Mary Shelley's letter to, 619 

i Hunt, Mrs. Leigh, 505, 517-8, 

530, 560, 620, 
' Hurst, Mr., 227 

Hurstpierpoint (Sussex), 280 
i Hyndman, Mrs. H. M., 21 

IMLAY, FANNY. See Godwin 
Imlay, Gilbert, 376 
Intellectual Observer, 556 
| Isleworth (Middlesex), 34 


Shelley in England 


Johnson, Dr. Samuel, 117 
Jones, Gale, 259 
Jordan, Mrs., 10 n., 59 
Julian and Maddalo, Shelley's, 

Keate, Dr. John, 51-3, 56 
Keats, John, 464, 517, 529, 534, 


his Lamia, 544-5 
Keith, Rev. Alexander, 9, 10 
Keith's Chapel (Curzon Street), 9, 


Kelsall, Thomas Forbes, 577 
Kendall, Rev. John, 505-6 
Kennedy, Captain, 414-7 
Kent, Elizabeth, 544-7, 680 
Keswick, Shelley at, 355-77 
Kew, 59 
King, Dr. Henry, Bp. of Chi- 

chester, 35 
King, Dr. John, Bp. of London, 


King, Mr., 147 
Kinglake, A. W., his Eothen, 


Kirkup, Seymour, 570 
Knight's Quarterly Magazine, 578 
Koszul, M., 85 

his La Jeunesse de Shelley, 287, 


LAMB, CHARLES, 106, 375-6, 

500, 607 

Lamb, Mary, 375, 529, 607 
Lane, Mr., 45 
Lang, Andrew, 134 
Laon and Cythna, Shelley's, 519, 

La Rochefoucauld, Fra^ois, 

Due de, 20 
Lawless, John, 385 
Lawrence, William, 523 n. 
Leatherhead (Surrey), 172 
Lee, Mr., 45-6 n. 

Leghorn, Shelley's house, Villa 

Valsovano, at, 535-6 

Leicester, Robert Dudley, Earl 

of, 19 

Lerici, Shelley at, 626 
Leslie, Rev. Edward, 56 
Leslie, Rev. Robert J., 56 
Letter to Lord Ellenborough , 

Shelley's, 393 
Leversley, John, 478 
Lewis, Mathew Gregory 

("Monk"), 73, 75, 89, 97, 


Liberal, The, 561 
Lido, Shelley and Byron on the, 


Lightfoot, Hannah, 9 
Lind, Dr. James, 67-70, 79, 

140 n., 180 
L'Isle and Dudley, Philip Charles 

Sidney, ist Baron de, 10-11 
L'Isle and Dudley, Lady Sophia 

de, 10 n. 
Locke, John, 132, 163, 168, 170, 

Longdill, P. W., 467, 491-2 n. , 

500, 505-6, 523-5, 629, 

646 n. 

Longman & Co., Messrs., 83 
Louis XVIII, 443 
Lovell, Robert, 359 
Lovell, Mrs., 359 
Lubbock, Sir J. W., 511 
Lyceum Theatre, 31 n. 
Lynmouth, Shelley at, 393-4, 

Lytton, Bulwer, Lord, 607 

MacCarthy, D. F., 148, 383, 557 n. 
Mackintosh, Sir James, 416-7 
Macmillan's Magazine, 136 n. 
Maginn, W., 77 
Mahoney, Father, 77 
Malone, John, 3 n. 
Marchmont Street (London), 

Shelley at, 465 
Margaret Nicholson, Posthumous 

Fragments of, Shelley's poem, 

Margaret Street (Cavendish Sq.), 

Shelley at, 445, 641 



Marlow (Bucks), 73; Shelley at, 

474, 516, 518-27 
Marshall, Miss, 124 n. 
Marshall, Mrs. Julian, her Life 
and Letters of Mary W. 
Shelley, 547 n., 565, 598 
Mary, Queen of Scots, i 
Matthews, Charles, 30 
Matthews, Judge Henry, 62 n. 
Medwin, Thomas, 4, 68, 124 n., 

282, 481 n. 
his recollections of Sir Bysshe, 

13, 18 

on Sir Timothy, 19 
and the derivation of the 

poet's name, 21 n. 
on Shelley's childhood and 

early days, 27, 32, 72-5 
at Syon House Academy with 
Shelley, 34, 36-8, 43-5, 


on Shelley's dancing, 49 
on Shelley's early writings, 77- 

80, 83, 85, 89 
his description of Harriet 

Grove, 94-5 
and The Necessity of Atheism, 

on Shelley's expulsion from 

Oxford, 208-11 
attends Surrey Chapel with 

Shelley, 260 
helps Shelley in pecuniary 

matters, 360, 387-8 
Mr. Forman's edition of his 

Life of Shelley, 541 n. 
on Miss Kitchener, 555 
and Mary Shelley, 607 
Medwin, Thomas Charles, 34, 65, 

80, 301, 346, 362, 384 
Merle, William Henry, 386 
Michelgrove (Sussex), 2 
Michelgrove, John, 2 
Michell, Ann. See Slyford 
Michell, Edward, 7-8 
Michell, John, 8 

Michell, Katherine. See Shelley 
Michell, Mary (nee Cheale, mar- 
ried ist Timothy Shelley, 
2nd John Michell), 8 

Michell, Mary Catherine. See 


Michell, Richard, 7, 22 
Michell, Rev. Theobald, 7 
Milton, John, 450 
Minerva Press, 45-7 
Mirabaud, J. B., 132 
Monson, William John Monson, 

6th Lord, 71, 83 
Montagu, Charles, 500 
Montgomery, Robert, his Oxford, 

195, 206 n. 

Montpensier, Due de, 26 
Moore, Thomas, 80, 607 
Morning Chronicle, 49, 289, 382, 

5, 54 8 

Morning Post, 96 
Morphett, Mr., 491 n. 
Morris, Charles, 12 
Morrison, Mrs. Alfred, 90 
Morrison, Rev. W., 614 
Mount Coffee House, 316 
Mount Street (Grosvenor Sq.), 


Moxon, Edward, 620-2 
Munday, Joseph, 101-2, 117, 122, 

144-5, 147, 282 
Munday & Slatter, 186-7, I 93 - 4. 


Murray, John, 463, 519, 561 
Murray, Patrick, 308, 310 

NANTGWILT (Radnorshire), Shel- 
ley at, 387 
Napoleon, 143 
Nash, Andrew John, 413, 444, 

Nash, George Augustus, 413, 

448, 461 

Neale, Gibbons, 86 n. 
Necessity of Atheism, The, 
Shelley's pamphlet, 188-97 
Newark (New Jersey), 3 
" Newspaper Editor," 86-7, 89 
Newton, Cornelia. See Turner 
Newton, Sir Isaac, 168, 170 
Newton, John Frank, 407-8 
Newton, Mrs., 402, 407-8 
Nineteenth Century, 71 n. 
Norbury, P., 46 


Shelley in England 

Norfolk, Charles Howard, nth 
Duke of, 10-1, 93, 257-8, 
344-5, 34 8 , 360-2, "396, 

" North, Christopher," 359 

Northcote, James, 612 

Norton (Durham), 102, 165, 219, 
221, 233 

Nugent, Catherine, 395, 406, 447, 

OLLIER, CHARLES, 519, 576 

Opie, John, 611-2 

Original Poetry by Victor and 

Cazire, 96-100 
Owen, Hugh, 635 
Owenson, Miss, 288 
Oxford, Bodleian Library, 55, 

456, 544 

Christ Church, 121, 192 
Magdalen College, 131, 175 
New College, 193 
Oriel College, 172, 196 
University College, 19, 55, 88- 
90, 101-51, 195-205, 213-21, 
233, 240, 281, 283, 288, 363, 
373, 452, 455-6, 55$ 
Oxford Herald, 120, 150, 191 



Paine, Thomas, 160 
Paley, William, 20, 134, 168, 

220, 224, 279 

Parker, Robert, 124, 220-30, 656 
Parsons, Mrs., 46 
Parthenon, Shelley's poem, 171-3 
Paul, Mrs., 604 
Peacock, Thomas Love, 396 n.,. 

400, 442, 529 
on Shelley's voice, 106-7 
and Harriet Grove's marriage, 


his novels, 145 n. 
and Shelley's expulsion from 

Oxford, 199, 200 
his description of Harriet 

Westbrook, 265-6 
his friendship with Shelley, 

Peacock, Thomas Love, on Shel- 
ley's love for lanthe, 426 
on Shelley's separation from 

Harriet, 436-7, 486 
Shelley corresponds with, 444 
Shelley's bequest to, 471-2 
and Charles Shelley's illness, 


and Sir Percy Shelley's bap- 
tism, 540 
co-executor with Byron to 

Shelley's will, 550 
and Mary Shelley's allowance 

from Sir Timothy, 574-5, 

585-6, 588 
and the publication of Shelley's 

Posthumous Poems, 581-5 
visits Mary Shelley, 607 
and the dedication to Harriet 

in Queen Mab, 621 
his letter to Sir Timothy 

Shelley, 552 

his letter to Whitton, 583 
Pechell, Captain George Richard, 


Penshurst, 10, 21, 450, 452 
Perry, Elizabeth, 10 
Perry, William, 10 
Peyton, Mr., 298 
Philipps, Mr., 382 
Philipps, Janetta, 152, 281-3, 286 
Phillips, Barclay, 188 
Phillips, C. & W., 96, 188, 193-4, 


Phillips, Philadelphia, 189 
Pilfold, Charles, 21 
Pilfold, Charlotte. See Grove. 
Pilfold, Elizabeth. See Lady 

Pilfold, Capt. John, 260, 264, 

276-7, 279-80, 301, 311-2, 

316, 318, 324, 337-43, 349, 

366, 391, 522-5, 551 
Pilfold, Mrs. John, 390 
Pisa, Shelley at, 540-2, 561, 621 
Plum, Mrs. Johanna. See Shelley 
Pocahontas, Princess, 35 
Poetical Essay on the Existing 

State of Things, Shelley's, 




Poland Street (Oxford St.), 207- 

55, 260, 264, 269, 273, 340 
Polidori, Dr. John William, 140 n. 
Political Register, The, 99, 149 
Pool, Lady Ferdinand, 21 
Pope, Alexander, 508 
Porter, Jane, 207 
Posthumous Poems, Shellev's, 


Powell, John A., 482, 511-2 
Price, , Shelley's friend at 

Eton, 58 

Prior, James, 177 
Procter, Bryan Walter (Barry 

Cornwall), 576 
Prometheus Unbound, Shelley's, 


Quarterly Review, 60, 578 
Queen Mab, Shelley's, 79, 133, 

151, 400-402, 405-7, 467, 

558, 621 

Rebecca, Biagio, 16 
Redmarshall (Durham), 233 
Reeve, Clara, 73 
Rennie, Sir John, 38, 41 
Revolt of Islam, The, Shelley's, 

519, 520 
Reynolds, John Hamilton, 464, 


Richmond (Surrey), 59 
Ridley, C. J., 197, 201-2 
Roberts, Captain, 542-3 
Roberts, William, 396 n., 633-4 
Robertson, Rev. James, 309-10 
Robinson, J., 82-4, 146, 148 
Robinson, Julia, 598-9, 604 
Rogers, Samuel, 45 n. 
Rome, William Shelley's grave 

at, 534-5 

Keats's grave, 534 
Shelley's grave at, 544 
Romilly, Sir Samuel, 501 
Romney, George, 95 
" Rosa Matilda." See Mrs. Byron 
Rossetti, William Michael, 85, 

86 n., 140-1 n., 343 n., 557 
Rossini, 529-30 

Rousseau, Jean Jacques, 148, 

Ryan, Major, 436 

SADLER, Dr., 134 
Saintsbury, George, 99 
St. Giles in the Fields, 529 
St. George's, Hanover Square, 

265, 357 n., 422-4, 482 
St. Irving's, 93 
St. Irvyne, Shelley's novel, 85, 

87, 89, 123-6 
St. John, Hon. Charles Robert, 

St. John, Hon. Mrs. C. R. See 

St. Mildred's, Bread St., Shelley's 

marriage at, 488-9, 653-4 
St. Pancras, 608-9 
Sala, Signer, 49 
Schubart, Christian Daniel, 74, 

79, 88 
Scott, Sir Walter, 74-6, 158 n., 

his letter to Shelley, 80-2, 


Sergison, Colonel, 29 
Serpentine, the, 476-9 
Seymour, Mr., 6 
Shakespeare, 508 
Sharpe, Charles Kirkpatrick, 

I2I-2, 125-6, 148-9, 192-3, 

Shelley, Bysshe (d. 1733), 4 
Shelley, Sir Bysshe (the poet's 

grandfather), 25 
inheritance from his grand- 
parents, 4-6 
his first marriage to Mary 

Catherine Michell, 6, 7, 9, 


and Field Place, 7, 8 
second marriage to Elizabeth 

Jane Sidney, 10 
baronetcy conferred on, n 
his character and tastes, 11-5, 


builds Castle Goring, 15-8 
his attitude towards religion, 



Shelley in England 

Shelley, Sir Bysshe (the poet's 
grandfather), and Shelley's 
expulsion from Oxford, 237- 
238, 33i 

and Shelley's elopement, 301-3 
Shelley appeals for help to, 

331, 392 

visited by Shelley, 337-8 
consulted on Shelley's mone- 
tary affairs, 411-2 
his death, 449-50 
his will, 451-;, 460-2, 465, 

his letter to Whitton, 237 

Shelley, Charles Bysshe (son of 
the poet and Harriet), 447-8, 
456-61, 471, 486, 490-514 

Shelley, Clara Everina (daughter 
of the poet and Mary), 519, 
528-9, 534 

Shelley, Edward (d. 1588), 2 

Shelley, Edward (b. 1670), 4, 8, 
453, 614 

Shelley, Elizabeth, Lady (nee 

Pilfold), the poet's mother, 

93-4, 229-31, 319, 329, 405, 

her marriage to Timothy 

Shelley, 21 

displeasure at Shelley's scepti- 
cism, 160-5, 1 68, 174 
her interest in Hogg, 293-4 
and her daughter Elizabeth's 
reported engagement, 340-4 

Shelley, Elizabeth (the poet's 
sister), 25-6, 90-3, 96, 140, 
142-4, 147, 159-60, 215, 
230, 261, 278-80, 282-7, 402 

Shelley, Elizabeth, nee Bowen, 


Shelley, Harriet, first meeting 
with Shelley, 265 

her beauty, 265-6, 313 

returns to school, accompanied j 
by Shelley, 269, 271-2 

is shocked at Shelley's scepti- 
cism, 272-3 

agrees to fly with Shelley, 297 

elopes with Shelley to Edin- 
burgh, 304 

her life at Edinburgh, 312-23 

Shelley, Harriet, goes to York 
with Shelley and Hogg, 323-5 

left in Hogg's charge during 
Shelley's temporary absence, 

Hogg's advances to, 353-6 

her affection for her sister 
Eliza, 357-8 

life at Keswick, 358 

dines with the Duke of Nor- 
folk, 361 

and Miss Kitchener, 390-1, 

becomes acquainted with the 

Godwins, 398 
birth of her first child, lanthe, 

402, 426 
dedication to, in Queen Mob, 

406, 424-5, 500-1, 621 
her dislike of Mrs. Godwin, 406 
at Bracknell, 407 
remarried to Shelley at St. 

George's, Hanover Square, 

gradual estrangement and 

separation between Shelley 

and, 426-31, 435-7, 493, 

invited by Shelley to visit 

Switzerland, 441-3 
visited by Shelley, 445 
birth of her son Charles, 447-8 
Shelley allows ^200 a year to, 

454, 498-9 

asks Shelley for a further 
allowance on behalf of her 
children, 456-60, 468-9 

Shelley's bequest to, 471, 475, 


her death, 474 
account of the inquest on, 476- 

86, 647-51 
reference in Laon and Cythna 

to, 520 

her letter to Hookham, 430 
extract from her letter to 

Miss Nugent, 395, 406, 447, 


Shelley, Hellen (the poet's great- 
great-grandmother), 2, 5, 6 



Shelley, Hellen (the poet's sister) 

(b. 1796), 25 
Shelley, Hellen (the poet's sister) 

(b. 1799), 25-33, 50, 65 n., 

jo, go, 93, 97-8 n., 107 n., 

265-6, 272, 282, 368-71, 388 
Shelley, Hellen (the poet's aunt). 

See Parker 
Shelley, Johanna (the poet's 

great-grandmother), 3 
Shelley, John (1537), 2 
Shelley, John (bap. 1666) (the 

poet's great-great-grand- 
father), 2-4 

Shelley, John (bap. 1696), 4, 8 
Shelley, John (bap. 1729) (the 

poet's great-uncle), 3, 8, 

246, 405, 449, 453-4 
Shelley, John (the poet's brother), 

25-7. 539, 549, 588-91 
Shelley, Sir John, ist Bart., 2 
Shelley, Sir John Courtown 

Edward, 6th Bart, v, viii, 

590 n. 

Shelley, Katherine (m. 1664), 7 
Shelley, Margaret (the poet's 

sister), 25, 30 
Shelley, Mary, nee Cheale. See 

Shelley, Mary (the poet's sister) , 

25, 90, 265 
Shelley, Mary Catherine, nee 

Michell, 7, 453 
Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft, 

the poet's second wife, 376 
on Shelley at Eton, 56 
first meets Shelley, 398 
plights her troth to Shelley in 

St. Pancras Churchyard, 433 
lines by Shelley to, 433-4, 

Shelley's sudden passion for, 


her elopement with Shelley, 
438, 486, 493, 495 

her History of a Six Weeks' 
Tour through a Part of 
France, Switzerland, Ger- 
many, and Holland, 444 

return to London, 445-6 

Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft, 
birth and death of her first 
child, 454 

birth of her first son at Wind- 
sor, 455 

her influence on Shelley, 462 

en route for Geneva, 466-7 

goes to Bath, 469 

her grief at the death of 
Fanny Godwin, 473-4 

and the death of Harriet, 480, 
484, 487 

her marriage to Shelley, 488- 
90, 498, 501, 652 

and the Chancery decision, 

her friendship with the Hunts, 


at Mar low, 518 
her novel, Frankenstein, 519, 

579, 616, 623 
birth of her third child, Clara 

Everina, 519 
dedication of Laon and Cythna 

to, 519 
and the liaison between Clare 

Clairmont and Byron, 521-2 
and Shelley's impending arrest 

for debt, 523-6 
leaves Mario w for London, 528 
prepares for visit to Italy, 


describes villa at Este, 533 
her grief at the death of 

William, 534-6 
her love of society, 540 
goes to Spezzia, 542 
treasures the relic of Shelley's 

heart, 543 

and Shelley's death, 546 
settles with the Hunts at 

Genoa, 560 
Byron appeals to Sir Timothy 

Shelley on behalf of, 562-9 
Sir Timothy's allowance to, 

565, 572-6, 585-6, 591-8, 

and Trelawny, 567-8, 571, 

calls on Whitton, 573-4 


Shelley in England 

Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft, 
edits Shelley's Posthumous 

Poems, 576, 580, 617 
her Valperga, 579, 587 
assists her father, 587, 608 
her book, The Last Man, 587-8, 


goes to Arundel, 598 
visits Paris, 601-2 
visits the Robinsons, 604 
her literary studies, 606-7 
and Percy's education, 613-4 
her description of her son, 


her novel, Lodore, 616 
edits collected edition of Shel- 
ley's poems, 618-22 
edits Shelley's prose writings, 

her Rambles in Germany and 

Italy, 623 
her death, 624 
extract from letter to Mrs. 

Leigh Hunt, 505 
extract from letter to Shelley, 


her letter to Sir Timothy, 594, 

her letter to Whitton, 596, 


letter to Mrs. Booth, 601 
extract from letter to Jane 

Williams, 569 
extract from letter to Leigh 

Hunt, 583, 619 
extract from letter to Miss 

Cuman, 586 
extract from letter to Tre- 

lawny, 591-606, 615 
Shelley, Percy Bysshe, his 

descent, 1-5 
and his grandfather, Sir Bysshe 

Shelley, 14-5 
born at Field Place, 21 
tablet commemorating his 

birth, 25 

his brother and sisters, 25 
Hellen Shelley's recollections 

of his childhood, 26-31 
his appearance as a child, 26 

Shelley, Percy Bysshe, an early 

letter, 28 

his verses on a cat, 31 
his retentive memory, 32 
schooldays at Syon House, 

and his cousin Tom Medwin, 

34- 43, 44 

his passion for reading ro- 
mances, 45-7 
and Walker's astronomical 

lectures, 47-8 
goes to Eton, 51-71 
and Mr. Bethell, 53-66 
Gronow's recollections of, 55- 


his friendships, 56-8 

tormented by his school- 
fellows, 59-61 

opposes fagging, 62 

his fight with Sir Thomas 
Styles, 63 

his interest in chemistry, 65-6 

his friendship with Dr. James 
Lind, 67-70, 1 80 

in the Montem processions, 71 

dislike of sport, 72 

attracted by the " School of 
Terror," 73 

writes The Wandering Jew, 

his novel, Zastrozzi, 74, 82, 85, 
87, 91 

his correspondence with Felicia 
Dorothea Browne, 79 

and with Sir Walter Scott, 80 

writes and publishes St. Ir- 
vyne, 85, 87, 89, 123-6 

his interest in German ro- 
mance, 86-9, 103-4 

recollections of a "Newspaper 
Editor," 86-9 

signs his name as a student 
at University College, Ox- 
ford, 89-90 

and his cousin Harriet Grove, 

publishes Original Poetry by 
Victor and Cazire, with his 
sister Elizabeth, 96-100 



Shelley, Percy Bysshe, goes up 

to Oxford, 1 01 et seq. 
meets Thomas Jefferson Hogg, 


Hogg's recollections of Shelley 

at Oxford, 103 et seq. 
his personal appearance, 105, 


his forecasts of the uses of elec- 
tricity and aerial naviga- 
tion, 108-9 

disorder of his rooms, 110-3 
rural walks with Hogg, 115 
writes and publishes Posthum- 
ous Fragments of Margaret 
Nicholson, 117-22 
C. K. Sharpe's recollections 

of, 121-2, 125 

characteristics, 116-7, * 27-3 2 
his metaphysical studies, 132-5 
and Stockdale the publisher, 

135-7, X 46, 160-7 
rebuked by his father, 137-8 
his engagement with Miss 
Grove broken off, 138-44, 


and Mr. Bird's History of 
Sweden, 144, 147, 150, 629- 

his novel, Leonora, 145-8 
his Poetical Essay on the Exist- 
ing State of Things, 148-51 
his philosophic doubts, 152-9 
and his father, 159-73 
betrayed by Stockdale, 161-6 
competes for the Oxford Prize 

Poem, Parthenon, 171-3 
the misfortunes of his coat, 


and Godwin's Political Jus- 
tice, 180-2 

writes to Leigh Hunt, 183-5 
and Mr. Hobbes, 186-7 
writes and issues The Necessity 

of Atheism, 188-97 
his experiences as a printer, 


his expulsion from the Uni- 
versity, 197-203 
leaves Oxford, 203-4, 206 

Shelley, Percy Bysshe, his life in 
London with Hogg, at Poland 
Street, 207 et seq. 

attends lectures on anatomy, 

and his father's anger, 213 

negotiation with his f atherjfor 
a reconciliation, 214 et seq. 

the intervention of Mr. Whit- 
ton, the family solicitor, 225 
et seq. 

and Hogg's departure from 
London, 240 

meets Harriet and Eliza West- 
brook, 245 

desire to renounce his inherit- 
ance, 246-54 

declines to become a politi- 
cian, 256-8 

and the Duke of Norfolk, 256 

and Captain Pilfold, 260-1, 

goes to Field Place, 264, 278 

arranges terms with his father, 

his interest in Harriet West- 
brook, 265-78, 296-300 

meets Miss Elizabeth Kitch- 
ener, 280 

corresponds with Miss Janetta 
Philipps, 281-3 

and his sister Elizabeth, 284-7 

and the Prince Regent's fete, 

visits his cousin Thomas Grove 
at Cwm Elan, 292-6 

his elopement with Harriet 
Westbrook, 300-8 

and his father's anger, 301-3, 
311, 316-23 

his marriage in Edinburgh, 

life in Edinburgh with Hogg, 

goes to York with his wife and 

Hogg, 325 

appeals to his grandfather, 331 
visits Sussex, 332-49 
his father irreconcilable, 336 

et seq. 


2 Y 

Shelley in England 

Shelley, Percy Bysshe, and his 
mother, in regard to his 
sister's rumoured engage- 
ment with Graham, 340-3 
and Hogg's treachery, 353-6 
leaves York for Keswick, 354 
and Eliza Westbrook, 357-8 
and Southey, 358 
visits the Duke of Norfolk, 

his financial affairs, 362-6, 


writes to his sister Hellen, 

his correspondence with God- 
win, 372-7 

his campaign in Ireland, 377- 

issues An Address to the Irish 

People, 377-9, 383 
his speech at the Fishamble 

Street Theatre, 379-82 
meets Curran, 385 
leaves Dublin and arrives in 

Wales, 387 
and the gossip about Miss 

Kitchener, 390-2 
at Lynmouth, 393-6 
his Letter to Lord Ellenborough, 

and Miss Kitchener's visit, 


at Tanyrallt, 395-400 
arrested for debt, 396 n. 
revisits Ireland, 400-1 
writes Queen Mab, 400-2 
in London, 402-13 
birth of his daughter lanthe 

Elizabeth, 402 
visits his father, 405 
makes the acquaintance of 

the Newtons and Mrs Boin- 

ville, 407 
revisits Edinburgh with his 

wife and Peacock, 408-9 
his finances, 411-3 
his last visit to his mother 

at Field Place, 414-8 
Mrs. Boinville's sympathy for, 


Shelley, Percy Bysshe, his remar- 
riage to Harriet in London, 

parting from Harriet, 425-37 
his meeting and friendship 

with Mary Godwin, 431-7 
his elopement with Mary 

Godwin, 438 et seq. 
writes from Switzerland to 

Harriet Shelley, 441 
returns to England, 444 
History of a Six Weeks' Tour, 


his poverty in London, 446 
birth of his son, Charles Bysshe, 


and the death of his grand- 
father, 449 

his income resumed, 454 
his life at Bishopsgate, 455 
the maintenance of his children, 

acts in Shakespeare drama 
on the stage at Windsor, 


and the case of Du Cane v. 
Shelley, 460-2 

issues Alastor, 463 

his second visit to the Con- 
tinent, 465-9 

and Godwin's unfriendly atti- 
tude, 466 

meets Byron, 467 

his return to England, 469 

makes his will, 470 

and the death of Fanny 
Godwin, 473 

and the death of Harriet 
Shelley, 474, 480, 485 

claims his children, 484 

his marriage with Mary Woll- 
stonecraft Godwin, 487-9 

and the Chancery case, 490-504 

and the guardians for his 
children, 505-11 

leases Albion House, Great 
Marlow, 516-7 

visits Hunt at Hampstead, 517 

birth of his daughter Clara 
Everina, 519 



Shelley, Percy Bysshe, writes 
Laon and Cythna (afterwards 
The Revolt of Islam), 519-20 
and Miss Clairmont, 521 
arrested for debt, 522-5 
Godwin visits him at Marlow, 


leaves Marlow, 528 
baptism of his children, 529 
leaves England for Italy, 531 
and Byron's child Allegra, 


meets Byron at Venice, 532 
in Rome, death of his child- 
ren Clara and William, 


writes The Cenci, Prometheus 

Unbound, and Julian and 

Maddalo, 535 
birth of his son Percy Florence, 


and Miss Sophia Stacey, 536-9 
his son christened, 540 
and his circle of friends at 

Pisa, 541 

goes to Lerici, 542 
his death and cremation, 543 
news of his death received in 

London, 544-7 
publication and suppression of 

his Posthumous Poems, 576- 


his poems edited by Mary 
Shelley, 617-22 

his letters and essays pub- 
lished, 622 
Shelley, Percy Bysshe, letters 

to Allen Etheridge, 369 

extracts from, to Godwin, 180, 

195, 372-4, 385, 465 
extracts from, to Graham, 84, 

120, 290 

to Graham, 90-2 
extracts from, to Miss Kitch- 
ener, 15, 212, 258, 288-9, 
299, 301 n., 324, 327-8, 
333, 339 n., 343, 366, 390-1, 

to John Hogg, 235 
to T. J. Hogg, 305, 419 

Shelley, Percy Bysshe, letters 

extracts from, to T. J. Hogg, 

137-8, 141-8, 153-60, 162, 

165, 172,260-4, 269-75, 277- 

80, 283-8, 293-300, 397, 409 

extract from, to T. Hookham, 

extracts from, to Leigh Hunt, 


to his cousin " Kate," 28 
to Thos. C. Medwin, 346, 384, 


extract from, to Janetta 
Philipps, 152 

to Sir Bysshe, 331, 393 

to Elizabeth Shelley, 342 

to Harriet Shelley, 441 

to Hellen Shelley, 369 

extracts from, to Mary Shelley, 
404, 487 

to Sir Timothy Shelley, 168, 
173, 214, 218, 227, 232, 306, 
311, 318, 321, 325, 330, 335, 
341, 351, 363, 365, 388, 403 

to Mrs. Timothy Shelley, 341 

to Stockdale, 166 

extract from, to Stockdale, 

extract from, to Robert 

Southey, 485 
to Mr. Teesdale, 413 
to Whitton, 247, 250, 337, 339, 


to William Willatts, 528 
Shelley, Sir Percy Florence (the 

poet's son), 559-64, 572 
his birth, 536 
his likeness to Lady Shelley, 


his baptism, 539-4, 5^5 
taken to see Sir Timothy 

Shelley, 593 
his school at Kensington, 599- 

visited at school by Sir 

Timothy, 600 
letter to Sir Timothy, 605 
the family grave at St. Peter's, 

Bournemouth, 608 
goes to Harrow, 613 


Shelley in England 

Shelley, Sir Percy Florence (the 
poet's son), his mother's 
description of, 615-6 

goes to Trinity College, Cam- 
bridge, 616 

his allowance from his grand- 
father, 623-4 

succeeds his grandfather, 

settles at Bournemouth, 624 

his love of sailing, 625 

produces plays at his theatre 
in Tite Street, 625-6 

his friendship with Robert 
Louis Stevenson, 627 

his death, 627 

Shelley, Timothy (of Fen Place, 
the poet's great-grand- 
father), 2-8 
Shelley, Timothy (of Champneys) , 


Shelley, Sir Timothy (the poet's 
father), 8, 93, 185, 655 

and Sir Bysshe, 13-4 

leases Castle Goring to Capt. 
Pechell, 16-7 

education, 19 

characteristics, 20 

his marriage to Elizabeth Pil- 
fold, 21 

settles at Field Place, 21 

birth of his children, 21, 25 

his love of sport, 72 

accompanies Shelley to Ox- 
ford, IOI-2 

his religious views, 134 

his anger at Shelley's scepti- 
cism, 136-8, 1 60, 365 

makes inquiries concerning 
Hogg, 165 

refuses to pay Stockdale's ac- 
count, 167, 188 

and Shelley's expulsion from 
Oxford, 194 n., 213-20 

becomes acquainted with Hogg, 

misunderstands Shelley, 225 

guided by Whitton in his 
dealings with Shelley, 226 
et passim. 

Shelley, Sir Timothy (the poet's 

father), wishes Shelley to 

enter Parliament, 256-8, 374 
asked to make provision for 

Shelley, 262-4, 336, 339, 

347, 350-2, 360-6 
welcomes Shelley's visit to 

Cwm Elan, 292-3 
and Shelley's elopement with 

Harriet," 307-12, 316-23, 

consults with Mr. Hogg, 316, 

326-7, 333-6, 347 
discusses Shelley with the 

Duke of Norfolk, 348-9, 

resumes his son's allowance, 


and Shelley's Dublin cam- 
paign, 382-4 

refuses to assist Shelley to 
buy the Nantgwillt property, 

refuses to be reconciled to 

Shelley, 404 

and death of Sir Bysshe, 449 
and the case Du Cane v. 

Shelley, 460-2 
and the custody of Shelley's 

children, lanthe and Charles, 

491-4, 506 
appointed guardian to his 

grandson Charles, 512-4 
and Shelley's debts, 522-6, 539, 

birth of his grandson and heir, 

Percy Florence, 538-9 
and the death of Shelley, 549- 


representatives of Miss Kitch- 
ener's claim on, 550-3 
his dislike of Mary Shelley, 

559, 588 
asked to make provision for 

Mary Shelley, 562-9, 572-6, 

585-6, 591-8 
and the publication of Shelley's 

Posthumous Poems, 580 
and his grandson's education, 




Shelley, Sir Timothy (the poet's 
father), makes his grandson 
an allowance, 623-4 

his death, 624 

and the will of John Shelley, 
of Field Place, 644-5 

and the deed concerning Shel- 
ley's allowance, 646 

his letter to Hogg, 213 

extract from his letter to Mr. 
J. Hogg, 219, 316 

his letters to Percy, 217, 365, 

extracts from letters to Whit- 
ton, 226, 228-9, 240, 242-4, 
262 n., 347-9, 412, 463, 514, 
539, 589-90, 592-3 

his letters to Whitton, 253-5, 


his letter to Captain Pilfold, 337 
Shelley, Sir William, 2 
Shelley, William (the poet's son), 

455, 466, 469, 472, 502, 

528-9, 534, 623 
Shelley-Sidney, Sir John, 10, 90, 

171, 240, 450-1 
Shelley-Sidney, Mrs. Sophia, 101, 

Shelley Note-book, 54, 61, 66 n., 


Shelley Society, 188 
Sidney, Elizabeth. See Perry 
Sidney, Elizabeth Jane. See 


Sidney, Sir Philip, 10 
Skeffington, Sir Lumley, 488 
Skinner Street, 375-7, 394, 43 1- 

432, 438, 446, 473, 488 
Slack, Henry James, 555-7 
Slater, Mr., 599 
Slatter, Henry, 122, 144-5, 185, 

191, 193-5, 206, 632 
Slatter, J., 101, 206, 629-31 
Sly ford, Ann, 8 
Smith, Dr. Adam, 170 
Smith, Benjamin, 481-2 
Smith, Horace, 518, 529, 607 
Southey, Robert, 124 n., 149, 
288, 355, 358-66, 377, 408, 
464, 485 

Southey, Mrs., 359 

Spezzia, Shelley's death at, 542-3 

Squire, John, 515 

Stacey, Sophia, 536-9 

Stamerham, 7 

Stedman, Mr., 351 

Sterne, Laurence, 516 n. 

Stevenson, Robert Louis, 627 

Stockdale, Mrs., 162 

Stockdale, John Joseph, 76, 96-7, 

102, 123-5, 135-7, 144, !46, 

160-7, 181, 186, 336, 352 
Stockdale' s Budget, 136 n. 
Stockton-on-Tees, 219, 233, 335, 


Streatham, Manor of, 4 
Strong, Mr., 281 
Stutters, Mr., 46 
Styles, Sir Thomas, 63 
Sussex, Lady Frances Sidney, 

Countess of, 19 
Swinburne, Algernon Charles, 

85, 480 n. 
Syon House Academy, 34-51 


Tanyrallt (Wales), Shelley at, 

395-401, 409, 633 
Taylor, John, 641-2 
Teesdale, Mr., 413, 461 
Thackeray, W. M., 99, 100 
Thomas, Mrs. Jane, 477 
Tite Street (Chelsea), Sir Percy 

Shelley's theatre at, 625-6 
Travers, Miss R. C. See Hynd- 


Travers, Major, 21-2 n. 
Trelawny, Edward John, 436, 

486 n., 541, 543, 560, 567, 

57 1 , 576, 59i, 605-6, 615, 


Turner, Mr. Fred, 35, 46 
Turner, Mrs., 407, 420, 424, 426, 

Tylecote, Jeffrey, 517 

Via Reggio, 543, 548 
Voltaire, 170, 401 


Shelley in England 

WALKER, ADAM, 47-8, 67 
Walker, Rev. John, 193, 203 
Walpole, Horace, 73 
Wandering Jew, Shelley's, 74-79 
Warne, Miss, 359 
Warnham (Sussex), 7, 27, 32, 


Watson, James, 500 
Watson, William, 486 
Weekly Times, 556 
Westbrook, Ann, 265 n. 
Westbrook, Eliza, 288, 298, 395, 


her copy of Queen Mab, 151 
visits Shelley, 245 
arid Shelley's visits to Chapel 

Street, 269-73 

stays with Harriet at York, 
after Hogg's treachery, 353-5 
Hogg's description of, 357 
makes her home with the 
Shelleys, 357~6i, 377. 396, 
398, 400, 426 
Shelley's dislike of, 420, 427, 


Shelley's accusations against, 
480, 484 

and the guardianship of Shel- 
ley's children by Harriet, 

appointed guardian of lanthe 
Shelley, 512 

her marriage, 512 

her kind care of lanthe, 514 

Mr. Esdaile's impressions of, 


her letter to Shelley, 276-7 
Westbrook, Harriet. See Shel- 

Westbrook, John, 265, 270, 
301-2, 401, 428, 514 

his business, 266 

insists on Harriet returning 
to school, 271-2, 297-8 

visited by Shelley's father re- 
garding the elopement, 307 

declines to help Shelley and 
Harriet, 312 

assists the Shelleys, 362, 365-6 
377, 454. 485-6 

Westbrook, John, Shelley sends 
the Address to, 379 

and the separation between 
Shelley and Harriet, 456-9 

and the death of Harriet, 475, 
480, 482 

and the guardianship of Har- 
riet's children, 490-506 

made guardian of lanthe 
Shelley, 512 

his death and will, 515-6 
West Grinstead (Sussex), 21 
Wetherell, Charles, 500 
Whitton, Richard, 470 
Whitton, William, 226, 246, 307, 
336-9, 343, 37i, 377, 459, 
482, 5H-4, 523, 546, 562-7, 
572-5, 585-8, 594-600, 613 

extracts from his letters to 
Sir Bysshe, 227, 302-3, 346 

extracts from his letters to 
Sir Timothy, 241-4, 252, 
292, 302, 317-20, 462, 467-9, 
491-2, 524-5, 591 

his letters to Sir Timothy, 
457, 58i 

extracts from his letters to 
Shelley, 244, 448 

his letters to Shelley, 249, 251, 

extract from his letter to 

Amory, 449 
extract from his letter toDesse, 

Wilkie & Robinson, Messrs. ,82-4, 


Willatts, William, 528 
Willett's Bridge (East Grinstead), 


William IV, 10 n. 
Williams, Capt. Edward Ellerker, 

541-3, 545-6, 548, 558, 560 
Williams, Elizabeth, 511 
Williams, Rev. James, 511 
Williams, Jane, 541, 558, 560, 

569, 572, 577, 616 
Williams, Capt. John, 557-8 
Williams, Owen, 634-5 
Williams, Richard, 511 
Willis's Rooms, 49 



Winchester College, 48 
Windsor, 50, 67 

Wise, Mr. Thomas J., 188, 557 n. 
Withall, Mr. Charles, v, vii, viii, 

476, 483 

Withall, Mr. Walter, ix, 544 

Woellf, Joseph, 341 

Wollstonecraft, Mary. See God- 
win, Mary Wollstonecraft 

Wordsworth, William, 288, 359, 
361-2, 464 

Worminghurst, 2 

Worthing (Sussex), 14, 96, 188 

YORK, 260, 263, 285, 293-7, 35' 
323-33. 345, 351, 353 

Zastrozzi, Shelley's novel, 74, 82, 

85, 87, 91 
Zofloya, or the Moor, by " Rosa 

Matilda," 47, 85 
Zouch, Thomas, 75 n. 


Printed by BALI.ANTYNE, HANSON <5r Co. 
Edinburgh & London 

PR Ingpen, Roger 

5431 Shelley in England